CURIOSITY KEY TO PATHOLOGY
VARIETY OF ROLES A BIG DRAWCARD
WATCHING the area of genetics pathology grow rapidly towards mainstream recognition in the past decade has been immensely satisfying for Dr Melody Caramins.
She was the first trainee to graduate from studying the specialisation in 2006 when it was in its infancy. “When I started it was still very much a research-oriented field,” Dr Caramins said.
Today, genetic testing is used for applications in IVF and cancers and other conditions that run in families.
“We have still got a lot of scope in the field,” Dr Caramins said. “The more we seem to learn, the more questions we come up with.”
After working at the Royal Prince Alfred and Prince of Wales Hospitals, and completing a PhD, Dr Caramins is now national head of genetics for Laverty Pathology.
She works with teams of pathologists in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, developing ideas and methods for tests to introduce.
“It gives me a broad perspective of what healthcare is like and how different it can be in every state,” she said.
“I spend a lot of my time on the phone with doctors.”
Dr Caramins said most pathologists in any specialisation worked in individualised practices.
“Some do more researchfocused work, some do academic work, some work in a private practice, some see patients, some don’t,” she said.
“No matter what your interest, you can probably find a practice that suits you.”
While it was still a relatively small field, Dr Caramins said there was plenty of opportunity for anyone willing to put in the time and effort to train as a genetic pathologist. “It is expanding at a rate where we can’t keep up with the trainees as they are needed,” she said.
“You need to have a sense of curiosity and good communication skills, because you are reporting to all kinds of people.”
Dr Melody Caramins at Laverty Pathology in North Ryde.