Free lecture with internationally celebrated cardiologist

29 Jun 2023

Special guest speaker, internationally renowned cardiac surgeon Professor Russell White is coming to Melbourne to share his experiences as a general and cardiothoracic surgeon in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This free lecture on Tuesday 25 July will uncover how surgical care and training has evolved in Sub-Saharan Africa, despite there being a world-wide shortage of surgeons.

This fascinating talk will cover:

  • the current state of care and possible solutions that could save lives
  • the development of new training programs requires full-time “boots on the ground” and cannot be satisfied by short-term visiting educational teams only
  • short-term visiting educational teams can have an impact when approached in the right way

Everyone is welcome! You don’t have to be a medical practitioner to enjoy this witty and insightful conversation.

FREE Lecture - The John Clarebrough Memorial Lecture
Transformations in Surgical Care and Training in Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: Tuesday 25 July
1pm to 2pm
via Zoom


The John Clarebrough Memorial Lecture is held in conjunction with the St Vincent’s Hospital, University of Melbourne Surgical Forum 2023, 24 to 26 July.

Eminent St Vincent’s Cardiologist, the late George Hale, is the Patron of the Memorial Lecture Series.

Australian surgeons’ global collaboration

Russell will also share the creative ways Melbourne surgeons have assisted in the past and how they can collaborate to solve many future challenges. This has included St Vincent’s doctors and their medical peers doing work in Kenya as well as the creation of a new program at St Vincent's to train surgeons from rural Kenya. Click here to read about the training program. 

“Dr Matthew Read has worked closely with our African team and has personally done some work in Kenya. Furthermore, Andrew Newcomb and Gavin Wright have made training opportunities available in Melbourne to some of our African surgeons-in-training,” Professor Russell White.

Photo: (L to R): Dr Keith Dindi, Dr Matthew Read and Dr Andrew Newcomb at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

Dr Russell E. White

Dr Russ White was born in the Belgian Congo to medical missionary parents. He attended Roberts Wesleyan College, the University of Michigan School of Medicine, and the Harvard University School of Public Health. He completed a general surgical residency at Brown University and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England.  He has served as the chief of surgery at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Kenya since 1997, where he spends the majority of his time.  His is a clinical professor of surgery at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. He was instrumental in initiating the Tenwek Hospital General Surgery Residency program in 2007, and was the program director from 2007 until 2018. He is also the chairman of the Education and Scientific Research Committee for the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA), responsible for training, examination and certification of surgeons in fourteen different countries in the region.  In 2018, he began directing the first cardiothoracic surgical fellowship training center in the COSECSA region at Tenwek Hospital. He received the American College of Surgeons Humanitarian Surgeon of the Year award in 2012, and was awarded the L’Chaim Prize for medical missions, and was honored as the Surgeon of the Year by the Kenya Surgical Society in 2017. 

Russell's passion is for teaching and mentoring young surgeons. He has special interests in cancer of the esophagus and rheumatic heart disease, and has published extensively in these areas.  Dr White is currently involved in the construction of the Tenwek Hospital Cardiothoracic Center. This will be the largest dedicated cardiothoracic unit in Sub-Saharan Africa and is scheduled to open in January 2024.

PHOTO: Special guest speaker, Dr Russell White


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