I have recently invited Dr Brett Leavers to join my practice as an associate. Brett is a like-minded surgeon with whom I have worked closely for more than three years. Both Brett and I have advanced skills and experience in treating patients with diseases of the head and neck. These are rare diseases which involve complex treatment with a high risk of long term complications and side effects. Brett also looks after general ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions.
Brett and I are spend a lot of time together. We both consult on a Tuesday morning prior to attending the St Vincent’s Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, we are often in the operating theatre together for complex cases at St Vincent’s Public Hospital, and throughout the week we also attend pathology, M&M, and radiology meetings. We also round together a couple of times a week.
Brett and I are both members of two St Vincent’s surgical groups in the private and public hospitals; the Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Department, also known as ENT or Ear, Nose and Throat, and the Head and Neck Cancer Service. There are many advantages for both Brett and I, our practice team, and our patients by sharing our practice. We;
- Confer on difficult cases whilst still retaining our autonomy
- Care for one another’s patients in both St Vincent’s Private and St Vincent’s public hospital when the other is away or unavailable
- Work as co-surgeons on highly complex cases
- Share patient records, a major advantage during an emergency
- Refer to one another when appropriate
- Combine our expertise for research and publication, particularly regarding adult airway reconstruction
- Ensure that our expanding list of cancer survivors can be monitored at appropriate intervals without being at the mercy of one surgeon’s availability
Caring for cancer patients also takes its toll on clinicians, and Brett and I are able to support one another through the highs and lows of professional practice. I have waiting a long time to find an early-career surgeon to bring into my practice who has not only the exceptional surgical and communication skills but also the appropriate compassion and values to care for head and neck patients. I am delighted that Brett has joined my practice.
You can learn more about how we work together by visiting our joint Facebook page @HeadNeckEnt Dr Richard Gallagher and Dr Brett Leavers.