CU­RIOS­ITY KEY TO PATHOL­OGY

VA­RI­ETY OF ROLES A BIG DRAW­CARD

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREERONE - Laura Tri­este

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.”

Pic­ture: DAVID SWIFT

Dr Melody Caramins at Laverty Pathol­ogy in North Ryde.

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