Dr Phil Popham


Hospital: The Royal Women’s Hospital
Road: 20 Flemington Road
City: Parkville, Melbourne
Country: Australia
Postcode: Vic 3052

Supervisor: Dr Phil Popham
Telephone: (+613) 8345 2000
Fax: (+613) 8345 2379
Email: phil.popham@thewomens.org.au

Enquiries to: Dr. Phil Popham

Duration/Start: 12 months starting in either February or August. 6 month fellowships may be available according to local service requirements, but 12 month attachments are generally preferred.

Grade: Post Fellowship FRCA, advanced trainee for FANZCA or equivalent.


The Royal Women’s Hospital is situated just north of the central business district in Melbourne, adjacent to the Royal Melbourne (general) and the Royal Children’s Hospitals. It is the oldest obstetric and gynaecological hospital in Australia, with over 6,500 deliveries p.a. (many of whom are high risk) and 13,000 operative cases p.a. It provides a comprehensive range of medical and surgical services for women, including reproductive biology procedures for in-vitro fertilisation, major gynaecological oncology surgery and breast surgery.

The Fellow post provides extensive clinical experience in obstetric anaesthesia. Consultant supervision levels are normally 1:1 or 1:2 at this hospital during daytime hours but after a period of familiarisation Fellows are expected to take on responsibility for co-ordination of theatre and Delivery Unit workload independently. The Fellows also take on more managerial and administrative responsibilities by co-ordinating, with support, theatre activity as the “in charge anaesthetist”. The hospital is also at the forefront of sophisticated laparoscopic techniques for gynaecological surgery.

Fellows assist in coordinating the weekly teaching sessions and Journal Club for the Registrars. These meetings take place in protected teaching time, and may also involve lectures to nurses and midwives and presentations to the journal club. The hospital has one of the longest established data acquisition programs in Australia, both for operating theatre data and a more recently established epidural database. The Acute Pain Service, staffed by four part-time specialist nurses, is based within the department.

Research opportunities exist in a number of projects, some of which are ongoing, both as clinical studies (some as part of multi-centre studies) and as audit-based studies. Fellows usually obtain a national or international publication and/or presentation during their tenure.

Currently (August 2009) Fellows work 43 hours per week, and two on-call weekend daytime shifts per month.

Melbourne is a vibrant city and is consistently voted one of the highest “liveability” ratings in the world. The post provides excellent and varied experience for those interested in a career in obstetric anaesthesia.


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