Meet Concorde’s First Certified MLT Graduate

medical laboratory technician

At Concorde, we love a great student success story—especially when it’s one-of-a-kind and a first for our institution.

Our Memphis, Tenn. campus piloted the first of our medical laboratory technician (MLT) programs back in 2014. Since then, that campus and others across the nation have been preparing students for the more behind-the-scenes careers in medical diagnostics and testing (such as drug screening and toxicology).  And we are now proud to say we have our first certified MLT graduate!

Meet Medical Laboratory Technician Sydney Yarbrough

Sydney Yarbrough recently achieved her certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the agency responsible for certifying laboratory professionals, and enjoys the distinction of being Concorde’s first certified MLT graduate in the nation.

“I originally came to Concorde for nursing,” she said, “but the MLT program was new and so I did my research and learned about the behind-the-scenes nature of the field. You do a lot of it by yourself and don’t deal directly with patients. So it seemed to fit me better.”

Putting her Medical Laboratory Technician training to work

Sydney has since gone to work for American Esoteric Laboratories, a reference laboratory in Memphis, and says she’s loving it.

“It feels good to be working now and making money—especially compared to the minimum wage job I used to have,” she said.

Giving back

Yarbrough recently came back to campus to coach our latest cohort of MLT students on the best ways to approach studying for the rather formidable certification exam.

“There is so much you have to know,” Yarbrough said. “The exam is 100 random questions so you have to be prepared for anything. But I tell current students there are ways to study wisely and also to capitalize on their clinical experiences in order to be successful.”

Diana Grogan Riddle was Sydney’s instructor for the Memphis program, and she beams as she reflects on Sydney’s time as a student at the Memphis campus.

“She’s fabulous!” she exclaims as she smiles. “All the way through the program, she was a great student. I would employ her if I had my own lab.”

Sydney has her own praise for her instructor and for the Memphis MLT program as a whole.

“The classes are small and intimate, and Ms. Riddle and the other instructors are totally approachable,” she said. “They were always available for one-on-one consultation if I needed it. I would highly recommend the program!”

It’s our pleasure to share this brief profile of Sydney with you, as well as the headline-making news about our first certified MLT graduate. If her story has intrigued you, you can read more about how to attain our associate’s degree on our website at

medical laboratory technician

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Davina Thomas-Clark | Medical Assistant, Vocational Nurse graduate

“I have taken the MA program and the LVN program. Concorde is a wonderful school. There is a difference between passion and a paycheck, and most of my instructors had a passion for what they do. The program was challenging but well worth it. I love this college!”

Trenisha Jones | Dental Assistant Graduate

“I decided to go to school because I was tired of working dead-end jobs. … When I found out I was pregnant, I realized that I needed a better life for me, for my child, for my husband, and just to better myself.”

Andrea Nolan | Dental Assistant graduate

“Knowing I could be working as a Dental Assistant in eight months was crazy to me! I loved going to class and would drive an hour there every day. I’m truly happy that I took the step to go to Concorde. It was the best thing I have done for my family.”

James Harkins | Nursing Graduate

“What I liked about Concorde was that there was nothing flashy. They were very up front, very simple, answered all my questions. They were more concerned with my education than tuition.”

Michelle Cardona | Dental Assistant graduate

“Literally a year-and-a-half ago, I was struggling to make ends meet and barely surviving. Now I have a career, make good money, and life gets better every day. I have recommended friends and family go to Concorde, because in as few as nine months, your life can completely change for the better.”