I cannot memorize the normal values of lab tests anymore

During my medical student days and residency days (circa 1976 -1981), I used to memorize the normal values of lab tests.  Now, I cannot memorize them anymore.  It is not because I cannot memorize but because it is futile to do so now as the normal values or ranges are not constant anymore.  They vary from one laboratory to another.

I hope the medical students and residents and even student nurses and other allied medical students will not be required to memorize them also.  I hope the board exams will not require memorization of these varying normal values.

Take for example the tests on FT4.

  • Lab 1   – 11.5-23.0 pmol/L
  • Lab 2  – 12.00 – 22.00 pmol/L
  • Lab 3 – 10.00 – 25.00 pmol/l
  • Some lab would even give 0.932-1.71 ng/dL and 60-120 nmol/L.

Take for example the test on TSH.

  • Lab 1 – 0.27 – 3.750 uIU/ml
  • Lab 2 – 0.27- 4.20 uIU/ml
  • Lab 3 – 0.40 – 4.00 uIU/ml
  • Lab 4 – 0.25 – 5.00 uIU/ml


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