Speakers' Bureau Directory: Arcenas

Rodney Arcenas
Degree: PhD
Employer: Pathology Consultants of South Broward
Hollywood, Florida  33021


Primary Employer: Other; Other Private Pathology Practice Group
Scientific Specialty: Clinical microbiology or immunology; Other N/A
Job Title: PhD Clinical Scientist – Microbiology/Molecular
Years in position: 7 years
Day to day responsibilities:
I am the Technical Director for the Microbiology/Molecular Laboratories. I help troubleshoot various issues in the lab. I consult with clinicians on certain cases whether it is a question about result interpretation or test ordering. I also help out our Pathologists who may have Microbiology and/or Molecular related questions. A huge part of my role is educating the laboratory staff, Pathologists, as well as other health care professionals in other clinical departments. I participate in hospital committees related to Clinical Microbiology and the laboratory. I also help evaluate new tests to determine if it can be brought in-house.

What do you love about your job?
I love the intellectual stimulation. The laboratory staff brings interesting cases or identifications they have and want to know more about it and the clinical history. It is also educational talking with clinicians about certain interesting cases as these help supplement the knowledge we know from the lab. I also love that the research and development work we do in the clinical lab readily translates into patient care. Even though we are behind the scenes, we are part of the patient care team.

Degrees, experience, license(s), and skills required for position:
For my particular position, a PhD along with board certification (ABMM) is required. Because I work in the state of Florida, the state requires me to have a Director’s License. ABMM board certification does require completion of a CPEP approved 2-year clinical microbiology fellowship. This is where the bulk of your basic foundation and experience in clinical microbiology is obtained. ABMM maintenance involves a set of criteria that involves continuing education credits and other activities related keeping up with the field microbiology.

Tips/Advice for how to secure a job in microbiology upon graduation:
It depends on what aspect of Microbiology you want to get into. It is important to start volunteering in research labs and networking when in undergraduate school. This may help steer you into whichever aspect piques your interest. Most likely, graduate school would be in your future and thus it is important to pick a school that has the same research interests as you do. You are in grad school for 4-5 years, so it’s best to find something that interests you. Having a career goal will help define the path you take to get there, regardless if your interest is in industry, academic, or clinical. All along the way, you should be networking as you never know when a job opportunity comes up and it is important to know people that may be able to help you out.