As part of National Science Week, we had a chat with one of our Interventional Radiologists, Dr Arani Halder. We asked about his childhood interests and how this led to a career as a Consultant Specialist Radiologist with Queensland X-Ray.
“As far back as I can remember I loved figuring out how things worked. I would often take electronic things apart, like radios, remotes and toys. An eloquent way of saying I would break things without being able to put it all back together! Reflecting back, I think one could consider this curiosity as interest in science and interest in the unknown.
Despite the destruction of all things electronic, biology also fascinated Dr Halder; specifically owning as many different pets as he could.
“I always had some minor wildlife in my room. I used to have sea-monkeys, fish, silk worms and hermit crabs - not all at the same time. After I brought the hermit crabs home I realised one of them was missing a claw - I named that one Neil Armstrong.
With his father working as a Mechanical Engineer and an academic, you could interpret that this inherited interest in figuring out how things worked helped foster his interest in all things science:
“My brother and I would often play in his laboratory when we were young, under supervision of course. Trips with Mum to the Science Museum was a regular occurrence. Even to this day, I always try to visit as many Science Museums as possible - a recent highlight has been the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. I distinctly remember on my 8th birthday, I was given a microscope with over a hundred slides of different insects and butterflies, this was one of my favourite toys growing up.
By high school, Dr Halder seemed to have clear path leading him to a career in science.
“My high school physics and biology teachers inspired and encouraged me to pursue a career in science. For me, applying science in a real world setting and being able to contribute to society was a priority. Choosing to specialise in radiology was an easy decision, as I found this to be the coolest specialty aligned with my skill set. For me, the challenge of analysing a patient's scan, incorporating their symptoms and putting together a diagnosis based on the clinical scenario is like being a detective solving crime.
“I decided to further sub-specialise in interventional radiology which involves performing minimally invasive endovascular and image guided procedures using cutting edge imaging technology. It is a real privilege to be at the forefront of medicine and perform minimally invasive procedures to fix problems, which would historically not be treatable or require major surgery.
"A day at the office for me can include navigating a catheter through a patient's blood vessels to deliver chemotherapy directly into their tumour or stopping life-threatening internal bleeding using tiny metal coils."
Perhaps in homage to all those who helped fuel his passion for sciences, Dr Halder continues that cycle and currently holds an Honorary Adjunct Assistant Professor position through Bond University Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine and is actively involved in registrar training, research and medical education.
Thanks for sharing this with us, Dr Halder!