Learn more about Dr. Brie Kezlarian, a Fellow Member of the ASC and our Member Spotlight of the month, from her conversation with Membership Committee member Deepu Alex, MD, PhD.

Dr. Brie Kezlarian

Cytopathology Fellow
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York

Interviewed by:  Deepu Alex, MD, PhD.
Pathologist
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
BC Cancer
Vancouver, BC

  1. How did you first find out about cytology?

My first serious exposure to cytology was in my first year of residency.  The cytology fellow, Manjula, hosted a first-years-only weekly conference.  I remember being so impressed how she keyed into what- to me at the time- were impossibly subtle changes to make the diagnosis.  I was sold!

  1. What drew you to this profession?

I love cytology because it really exercises your diagnostic capabilities.  It’s challenging, and it takes a lot of training and practice to do what we do.  I enjoy a good challenge.

  1. Tell us about an interesting case or situation that you’ve encountered in your practice.

I work at a cancer hospital, so naturally the most interesting case I’ve come across is an infection in an immunocompetent person!  It was a case of pulmonary coccidiomycosis masquerading as carcinoma.  The interesting bit was that it was forming the saprophytic hyphal forms in the lung!  We had the microbiologists stumped until we got the PCR back.  (Spoilers Ahead) We’re presenting it as the December Pulmonary Pathology Society Case of the Month if any interested readers would like to know more.

  1. What do you like best about being a cytotechnologist/cytopathologist?

I have the best job in the world.  It’s intellectually fulfilling and all the work I do goes toward helping people.  Not everyone is so lucky to find something they truly enjoy and to get paid for it to boot!

  1. What is the most rewarding thing that has happened to you in cytology?

I am still in my fellowship training.  What I find most rewarding is looking back at how much my diagnostic skills have grown from residency, through oncologic surgical pathology fellowship and now cytopathology fellowship.  I look forward to seeing how they will continue to develop in the future.

  1. What do you value most about your membership in the ASC?

I thought the meeting this year was wonderful!  I love the collegial atmosphere and the insightful and truly entertaining presentations.

  1. Do you have a memory from the ASC that you would like to share?

I am relatively new to the ASC and look forward to making many memories in the future!  Though the candy bar snack break at this year’s conference definitely sticks out in my mind…

  1. What advice would you give to students coming into the profession?

Everyone you meet in life has something to teach you.  Respect that, respect them, and listen.

Click to read more Member Spotlight Interviews.