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Flinders Medical Centre

Oesophago-Gastric Unit - Flinders Medical Centre


The Oesophago-Gastric Unit is part of the General Surgery service at Flinders Medical Centre, a tertiary referral hospital co-located on an integrated campus with the School of Medicine at Flinders University. The unit comprises 6 surgeons, including 2 university surgeons, who work across 2 campuses - Flinders Medical Centre and the nearby Repatriation General Hospital. Upper GI work is undertaken at both sites, and as some benign Upper GI surgery (eg hiatus hernia and bariatric) is undertaken at the Repatriation General Hospital the Oesophago-Gastric fellow is expected to spend some time each week at that site.

The Unit performs 30+ oesophagogastric resection procedures per year (thoracoscopic and open), as well as antireflux surgery, hiatus hernia repair, surgery for achalasia and pharyngeal pouch procedures. In addition, the unit undertakes the majority of the complex interventional upper GI endoscopy work, including endoscopic ultrasound, endoscopic mucosal resection, and oesophageal stenting.

Anticipated Operative Experience

The Fellow participates in all public operating lists at Flinders Medical Centre and upper GI lists at the Repatriation General Hospital. The fellow can expect to be involved in 100-150 major upper GI cases, with more than 50% as the principal operator. Significant exposure and training in antireflux surgery, hiatus hernia repair and bariatric surgery is anticipated. Additional general surgery work will be undertaken as the unit contributes to the general surgery on-call. The Fellow takes second call, supporting a general surgical trainee on the on-call roster. Opportunities are available for upper GI endoscopy training, including complex interventional upper GI endoscopy.

Multidisciplinary Interaction

There are regular clinical meetings involving interaction with multidisciplinary specialists. These include a dedicated Upper GI radiology meeting held each week, a monthly pathology review meeting, and a weekly Statewide Upper GI Cancer multidisciplinary team meetingwhich engages all public hospital sites in South Australia (surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists and radiologists).

Perioperative Evaluation

The unit conducts outpatient clinics at Flinders Medical Centre, the Flinders Cancer Centre and at the Repatriation General Hospital. The Fellow usuallyattends the Upper GI Cancer Clinic at the onsite Flinders Cancer Centreone half day each week. This provides opportunities for assessment and management of individuals with oesophageal and gastric cancer, including participation in preoperative evaluation and assessment and treatment planning.

Training Program

The Fellow attends all clinical and teaching meetings within the Unit and the Dept. of General and Digestive Surgery at Flinders Medical Centre. This includes a fortnightly surgical “Grand Round”. The fellow is expected to present at this meeting, and also to manage the units formal annual audit presentation.

Members of the Oesophago-Gastric Unit

  • 6 consultant surgeons
    • Professor David Watson (academic head)
    • Dr Tim Bright (unit head)
    • Dr Justin Bessell
    • Dr Jacob Chisholm
    • Dr Marina Yeow
    • Dr Susan Gan
  • Oesophago-Gastric Fellow
  • General Surgical Registrar (SET trainee)
  • General Surgical Resident Medical Officer
  • 2 Interns
  • Oesophago-Gastric Cancer care coordinator (Senior Nurse)

The clinical workload is such that the Fellow participates in all of the major Upper GI surgical cases at Flinders Medical Centre and the Repatriation General Hospital, and also some work in private hospitals used by the consultant staff. The General Surgical Registrar (SET trainee) only works at Flinders Medical Centre but is also expected to do more than 150 major cases with more than 50% as the principal operator during any 6 month rotation. Another General Surgical Registrar (SET trainee) works at the Repatriation General Hospital, and supports patient care at that hospital.

Funding for this Position

A fulltime salary is paid by Flinders Medical Centre.

Education Facilities Available for the Upper GI Fellow

The Fellow is provided with a workstation, computer, internet access and printer access within the Department of Surgery. The Fellow has full access to the Flinders Medical library which provides an extensive electronic literature database access.

Director of the Oesophago-Gastric Fellowship Program/Mentors

The Director of the Fellowship Program is ProfessorDavid Watson, a member of ANZGOSA. All other consultants are members of ANZGOSA.Several consultants within the Oesophago-Gastric surgery unit have research higher degrees and major interests in clinical and laboratory-based research. Work from the unit is regularly published in the field of Oesophago-Gastric surgery.Access to a research project(s) is feasible, and completion by publication is supported and encouraged.

Research Training

The Fellow is expected to be involved in, and submit for publication 1 or more manuscripts during his/her 12 month appointment. An active laboratory research program is integrated with the unit, and opportunities to contribute to this research may also be possible.

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ANZGOSA - Australia & New Zealand Gastric & Oesophageal Surgery Association Your Practice Online