PATIENT AND EXPERT STORIES
Dr Michelle Rodrigues
Dr Michelle Rodrigues
Dermatology, her passion for treating pigment disorders, and the Australasian College of Dermatologists
Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, Dr Michelle Rodrigues, Melbourne, is a dermatologist and medical doctor with a special interest in treating skin pigment disorders such as vitiligo and melasma, among others.
“The common conditions that a dermatologist sees on a daily basis here in Australia includes things like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and of course, they focus on skin cancer prevention and management in the form of regular skin checks,” said Dr Rodrigues.
“There are other conditions as well that affect hair, nails and even the pigment cells in the skin, which dermatologists like myself have a particular interest and expertise in.”
After completing her six year-long Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery combined degree with Honours at Monash University in Melbourne, Dr Rodrigues extended her training in the form of an internship and medical residency at Southern Health, Monash Medical Centre.
She was then granted admission into the Australasian College of Dermatologist’s training program, where she worked in various tertiary referral hospitals around Melbourne for the next four years, including six months at the National Skin Centre in Singapore.
Dr Rodrigues said she chose to work in the field of dermatology as it gave her an opportunity to treat a variety of conditions in children and adults and enabled her to get involved in education, research and innovation for various skin conditions and diseases.
“We have a great deal of variety in our work. A dermatologist is someone who can see and treat hair, skin, and nail problems in both adults and children.
“For me, being a dermatologist provides an opportunity to interact with young families as well as older individuals. I can embark on research, and I’m able to treat patients in both the private and public sectors and really get involved in medical education. I enjoy all of these aspects of dermatology,” Dr Rodrigues said.
Despite her special interest in pigmentation disorders, Dr Rodrigues treats patients living with all sorts of skin, hair and nail conditions.
She sees a huge range of people, many of whom are often seeking treatment for a skin condition that’s been troubling them for a long time, such as eczema, acne and psoriasis, through to skin pigmentation conditions like vitiligo.
“Many of the patients I see come to me after having visited several other doctors about their particular skin, nail or hair issue.
“For me, it is important to offer these patients an accurate diagnosis and additional information, including how we can best manage their condition successfully moving forward,” said Dr Rodrigues.
“The great thing about dermatology is that we can journey with our patients through different aspects of their lives, from infancy right through to when they’re having their own families, and even beyond. We are often granted the opportunity to care, not just for that individual, but their entire family.”
The future of dermatology and skin treatment is a constant driver for Dr Rodrigues, who embraces treatment innovations and techniques on an almost daily basis.
“A very interesting aspect of dermatology is having the ability to get involved with research and really push the boundaries and innovate in terms of treatments, and disease management.
“Dermatologists are definitely on the cutting-edge of science, due to our constant involvement with patients, and because there are many continuing medical educational events, such as meetings and conferences, that update us (dermatologists) on new treatment advances and innovations within the dermatology space,” Dr Rodrigues said.
As a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, Dr Rodrigues aims to uphold the organisation’s high standards and works vigorously to continue to offer her patients the most appropriate, tailored treatment plans, and to share her extensive understanding of skin, nail and hair problems.
“The Australasian College of Dermatologists was established in 1966 to educate and support doctors embarking on their dermatology training, and to provide ongoing education and support to dermatologists working in the community.”
Dr Rodrigues advises anyone living with a skin, hair or nail issue to ask a dermatologist for treatment and advice today.
“My advice to anyone living with a troubling skin condition is to seek help from a dermatologist. At the end of the day, they’re your ‘go to’ person for any skin, hair or nail problem,” said Dr Rodrigues.
Learn more about vitiligo here