2 -spanish and english version
(CON AUTORIZACIÓN DEL AUTOR)
El Rol del Bioquímico
(Authorized by the author)
The Biochemist role
SPEECH PRONOUNCED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF BIOCHEMISTS
Dr. Jorge Blanco
Held in the Ordinary Annual Assembly,
Every time there are more places where these subjects are being discussed, but until now, there has not been a broad debate, where all the actors in charge of the education, the professional performance management, their academic position and the biochemist insertion in the working world where the biochemist has the usual area of performance are represented.
The present laboratory uses a profusion of automated equipment, each one of them with their own manufacturer characteristics, which noticeably simplifies the crafty job performed by the clinical laboratory responsible until not long ago.
In some areas, this fact generates the idea that automation, somehow, can substitute the professional work.
Unfortunately, some colleagues, tacitly accept this fact.
This circumstance has forced us to think how a biochemist (clinical laboratory responsible) should be nowadays, and with which tools he must count to fulfill the appropriate role.
University does not train us to fix one of those sophisticated equipment, that’s the design engineer’s job, but all the hard matters studied by the biochemist in the beginning of his career allow him to perform an exact evaluation of the process compliance, if the measurements are correct; because physics, optics, chemistry, etc, have been their basic subjects and that is the knowledge to be used to determine if the result obtained is trustful or not.
A Dean once said that, in summary, the biochemist’s role was to be able to measure with tremendous precision the studied analytes.
The biochemist only measures and gives a result, or relates it with a whole array of tests that the patient has been prescribed, with the patient’s own medical history, with the information obtained by the questionnaire that unavoidably has to be performed.
Nowadays, the number of tests available to be performed is so high, that the physician has lost, in many cases, the appropriate use of the results that he receives.
Who, if not the biochemist can offer better information so the analysis request is appropriate for the patient needs?
Who, if not the biochemist can explain to the physician the meaning of the obtained result and even recommend a treatment, like the case of a microbiology specialist?
We are used to report and to give normal and pathological values. This is not enough, since our real function is not only to perform the bench work, but to help the physician, with equal professional condition and not as subordinates.
This task forces the Universities to re-think their learning programs, to offer the biochemists the necessary tools for that purpose.
It is necessary for the biochemist to live behind the image of a professional with a secondary role of providing just analytical results, and to become an actor with equal professional condition that can be heard and his contribution is essential to the health team.
If we do not perform that role we’ll be smoothing out our quality as university professionals.