In addition to the main focus of my professional life over the last 20 years, which continues to be neurosurgery (both operative brain & spinal surgery, and neuro-consulting), I am a contributing member of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ASAM) and a licensed fixed wing aircraft pilot. Whenever I can, I fly myself between states for my work.
This CNS Aerospace page will chronologically record the association between my training and experience in the art and science of neurosurgery and the fields of aviation medicine and aerospace.
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1999 – I wrote two papers that were published in Perspectives in Neurological Surgery. The second of these (PDF linked via the original journal cover image, below), was on the then early emergence of virtual reality technology in neurosurgery. In the paper’s “FUTURE” section (towards the end), I wrote about teleoperations and robotics. I now regularly use telemedicine/teleradiology platforms to help people located remotely throughout Australia, and I use a surgical robot (Mazor) for certain minimally invasive spinal operations that I carry out at Epworth Richmond, in Melbourne.
August, 2018 – I presented the following talk (PDF linked via the cover page image, below) at the annual meeting of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine, comparing the fields of medicine and aviation using the example of awake brain surgery/awake craniotomy. What I highlighted towards the end of this presentation was the several ways in which the field of medicine could learn and gain benefit (especially in terms of patient safety and outcome) from key procedures established in the aviation sector.
June, 2019 – There are numerous similarities and some key differences between the fields of surgery and aviation. In this Surgical Neurology International journal editorial (PDF linked via the original article cover image, below) I co-wrote with Dr Praveen Vats (an experienced neuro-anaesthetist and pilot who I work with in Melbourne), we have concisely looked at these. What we’ve highlighted are several key things that medical professionals can learn from the aviation sector (to improve processes and outcomes), and the one key thing the aviation sector can learn from doctors practising in high-pressure subspecialties.
September, 2019 – I presented a talk at the annual meeting of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine, discussing the implications of neurological conditions in the setting of pilots and astronauts, and their missions. The topic overviewed in this talk contributes towards the enhancement of a broad understanding of neurological conditions, their clinical workup and their precautionary management in the setting of aviation and aerospace.
July, 2020 – I use hospital-grade facemasks in theatre and in the hospitals I work at, but this is one of the customised facemasks I use when I am out and about. Who would have thought they would be needed outside of medical settings? A new world.
July 31, 2020 – My first landing as a pilot at an international airport, Canberra ACT.
December, 2020 – Our peer-reviewed article entitled Aerospace Implications of Key Neurological Conditions has been accepted for publication by (and is in press with) a leading aerospace medicine journal, Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. This is the official journal of the peak aerospace medicine body, the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA), headquartered in the US. Our paper will be published in early 2021. My coauthors and I hope that this paper will be used as a reference guide for the neurological evaluation of astronauts, fighter pilots, and commercial and general aviation pilots.
CNS Aerospace Pty Ltd. ACN 627 252 073. Established 2 July, 2018.