Dr Kevin Whitehead
|Dermatopathology, histopathology, ophthalmic pathology|
07 3377 8655
Dermatopathology, ophthalmic pathology
As one of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology's most senior histopathologists, Dr Kevin Whitehead is known for his extensive expertise in dermatopathology and ophthalmic pathology. He is one of only a few ophthalmic pathologists in Australia and works closely with plastic surgeons, ophthalmic surgeons and dermatologists, performing frozen sections and reporting on a full range of cutaneous and ophthalmic conditions.
Dr Whitehead graduated from The University of Queensland Medical School with Honours in 1984 and was awarded The University Medal for Medicine. He went on to an internship at The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and it was there that he developed his passion for pathology. Towards the end of his training he became interested in dermatopathology drawing great satisfaction from the constant challenges thrown up by the great variety of conditions affecting that organ system. There was also more opportunity for contact with clinicians - something he finds especially rewarding in diagnostic work.
On completion of his training, Dr Whitehead was invited to join SNP where Professor David Weedon suggested he take an opportunity that had arisen to train in New York with one of the founding figures in the field of dermatopathology, Dr Bernard Ackerman. This was to have a long-lasting influence on his approach to diagnosing cutaneous conditions. Soon after his return to SNP, he began working with one of Queensland's first oculoplastic surgeons in the management of eyelid and orbital tumours. This has extended to include conditions involving the ocular surface and cornea, as well as intraocular disease processes. He is currently working with the QIMR retrieving tissue samples from uveal melanoma specimens for the establishment of cell cultures in order to explore the genetic determinants of ocular melanoma.
Dr Whitehead gained Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 1991 and he is a member of the Australasian Dermatopathology Society. He attends meetings of the Brisbane Hospital Dermatology Group, held at the city's four major hospitals four times a year to present and discuss complex diagnoses and case management. He is also involved in teaching ophthalmology registrars helping them prepare for the pathology component of their exams.
He likes being "at the coal face" of pathology and derives great professional enjoyment through face-to-face contact with surgeons while performing frozen sections and gaining satisfaction in being part of a team of people bringing together their respective skills in pursuit of the same end. He particularly likes ocular and facial work and the challenges imposed by the need to conserve tissue structure and function.