Learn more about our Member Spotlight of the month, Melody Castellon from her conversation with Ms. Po Chu Fung.
2014 Member Spotlight Interview
During her free -time, Melody is usually volunteering with different community organizations involved in public health and medicine. While this keeps her busy, she enjoys eating out at new restaurants and tasting new entrees, napping with her cats, cooking, and reading novels. Overall, she is an enthusiastic young lady who is looking forward to a successful career!
1. How did you first find out about cytology?
I first found out about cytology through a professor of mine. In passing, he mentioned his wife was a cytotechnologist and how much she loved her career. As he described her profession to me, I remember feeling a sense of wonderment rush through me. The more I learned about it, the more I knew cytology would be the perfect fit for me.
2. What drew you to this profession?
As a young girl, I was always interested in science and investigation. As a college student, I could always be found in the biology and histology lab with a microscope, even on weekends! As I read and researched about cytotechnology, I quickly became drawn to the concept of cells and their ability to “tell stories.” I became enthralled with cytodiagnosis and the ability of those whom many patients rely on. In my year of training, I became fascinated with the art amidst the science, the amount of knowledge and skills required on the job, and I continue to be amazed at all the different cases I encounter.
3. Tell us about an interesting case or situation that you’ve encountered in your training/practice.
An interesting case that was encountered in my training was one in which a patient had two known primary malignancies who then presented with a retroperitoneal mass. Discerning whether this was a new primary tumor or metastasis was difficult, since both primaries closely resembled each other. With the help of cytopathologists, and cytotechnologists it was concluded that it was a metastatic renal cell carcinoma. It was definitely one of those “learning moments” that I will never forget. Ultimately, it gave me a glimpse into the team work that is required in this field.
4. What do you like best about being a cytotechnologist?
There are many aspects of being a cytotechnologist that I enjoy, so I have done my best to narrow it down to only two. First, is the fact that you never know what your daily cases might hold. Secondly—and most importantly— is knowing you made a difference in the life of a patient.
5. What is the most rewarding thing that has happened to you in cytology?
Being named the recipient of the Geraldine Colby Zeiler Award by the ASC was such an honor and privilege, and has been one of my most rewarding moments in cytology.
6. What do you value most about your membership in the ASC?
Being able to attend ASC Cyto-econferences presented by different professors and doctors from around the country is always a stimulating experience, and keeping myself updated on reading articles in Cancer Cytopathology.
7. Do you have a memory/ fun experience from the ASC that you would like to share?
As I am just starting my career, I do not have any memories with the ASC yet. Nevertheless, I look forward to creating some fun memories soon!!