How long have you worked at UOW?
Almost 13 years. I took an honorary appointment, initially as a senior lecturer, upon my return from post fellowship training, at the beginning of 2008.
What’s your/your team’s role at the University?
I am an honorary clinical professor. This means I provide lectures for the School of Medicine (SOM), informal tutorials for future doctors and interview prospective students as well as assess candidates for the SOM in medical student examinations.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
By far and away, providing a pathway to help patients with options related to airway surgery – and seeing the difference it can make to them and their families.
What’s the most challenging?
The two most challenging aspects of being a surgical professor are negotiating work-family balance and navigating administrative hurdles
Proudest work achievement at UOW?
My most recent and probably best – publishing a landmark study on multi-level OSA airway surgery (SAMS trial) in one of the World’s leading journals (JAMA), as primary author and site chief investigator (and surgeon) – article here and podcast.
Prior to that, linked not only to UOW academia but also to clinical practical training, I would say designing a sleep surgery fellowship as one of the few available in the World, and watching those fellows return to their home states and countries to kick off a contemporary service.
What goals are you/your team working towards in 2020?
We have a number of important research articles in submission or preparation, including but not limited to, a GPRWF – funded clinical extension of an airway modelling project (collaborating with Professor Gordon Wallace), my most recent fellow Nathan Hayward’s RCT on sleep surgery training, assessment of allergic rhinitis in paediatric OSA, Change in Diagnosis following unsupervised polysomnographic assessment, and both current MPhil student projects: Matt Lam (Phenotyping OSA patient non-CPAP therapies) and Anders Sideris (Use of Sleep Questionnaire Smart Apps compared to usual Paper Questionnaires). And of course – the four “spin-offs” from the JAMA SAMS trial: long term follow up study, cost benefit analysis, MRI analysis, and endo-phenotyping outcomes.
What’s your fondest memory so far of working at UOW?
Doing the once a year day long Practical ENT skills teaching for Medical Students at UOW, and receiving my annual pie and coke zero from the dedicated SOM staff as thanks !!!! (Coronavirus killed 2020 session !!!!)
Random fact about you or hidden talent?
I trialled for South Sydney and Illawarra “NRL” squads (failed at both !) and qualified for Commonwealth Games trial swimming at age 15 years (came last in the trial’s 200m butterfly !)
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
Wollongong, always has and will be (born and raised), and especially Bellambi Beach (if the fish are biting when holding a hand reel off the inflatable kayak!)
Something on your bucket list you’d care to share?
Early Retirement (no hope) and sit back and watch former sleep surgery fellows become leading world experts….