RACP Fellows in Focus: Dr Sharmila Chandran

Date published:
26 Jul 2021

RACP Fellows Dr Sharmila Ramessur Chandran

Dr Sharmila Ramessur Chandran’s medical career spans three continents, multiple health networks and prestigious international and local institutions. She is committed to being at the forefront of nephrology and renal transplantation, so that she can provide the highest-quality care to her patients.

“I was brought up in Mauritius and at the end of my A levels, obtained a medical scholarship to study medicine at the University of Melbourne. Upon graduation, I moved to Scotland, in the middle of winter for my internship and completed basic physician training in the United Kingdom before moving back to Melbourne.”

“During one of my medical registrar rotations at the Monash Medical Centre, I had to cover the annual leave of the renal registrar and I discovered renal transplant medicine. I found the overlay of renal medicine with transplant immunology fascinating. I really enjoyed the complex clinical challenges, but also how much a renal transplant gives hope and a new life to patients on dialysis. This is when I decided to become a nephrologist with a sub-specialisation in renal transplantation.”

In 2015, Sharmila moved to Toronto, Canada, to undergo a clinical fellowship in transplantation at the world-renowned multi-organ transplant unit of the Toronto General Hospital. Here, she gained international expertise in all aspects of renal and pancreas transplantation. Today, Sharmila practices as a renal physician in Melbourne and is an active member of the College, sitting on multiple committees with the aim of bringing on positive change. Sharmila has also recently been elected to the Board of the College.

On the challenges that her chosen profession has presented over the years. Sharmila reflected that one has to be very resilient and adjust goals along the way. It has been no easy feat to be a leader in medicine, a woman of colour and mother of three young children, especially in a highly competitive medical world. However, through perseverance, challenges can become opportunities to grow towards new horizons.

“The medical world can be very hard, unforgiving and stressful. It breaks many people. It is important to always believe in yourself, your abilities and your strengths.”

We asked Sharmila whom she believed has been the biggest influence on her career to date and she explained, “My father taught me to always be authentic and truthful and to always believe in myself and my abilities. My husband has always stood by me, through every challenge and struggle. Without his support, my professional achievements in the last decade would not have been possible. Of course, there is nothing like the adoration of my three young children to remind me what is really important in life.”

The RACP encourages and supports members from all walks of life, but what made Sharmila decide to become an active participant in the College? She told us, "The College has a very collegiate and professional environment. It is culturally and gender diverse, reflecting the membership. I really enjoy being involved and within three years, the number of committees I am part of has grown rapidly".

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