Melbourne Uro-Oncology Training Program

The Melbourne Uro-Oncology Training Program (MUTP) is a leading provider of training in robotic-assisted surgery and other complex urologic oncology surgery. It is directed by urological surgeons Associate Professor Declan Murphy, Uro-Oncologist and Director of Robotic Surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Professor Tony Costello, Director and Professor of Urology at Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne. Our Faculty also includes Dr Daniel Moon, urologist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Director of Robotic Surgery at Epworth Healthcare, and Mr Justin Peters, urologist at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Epworth Healthcare. In addition we invite guest Faculty from around Australia and New Zealand and from International centres to provide expertise for some of our training programs.

The MUTP currently provides four separate structured training activities:

1. One-year Fellowships in Urologic Oncology.

Each year we offer three full Fellowships in Urologic Oncology, for senior trainees around the world. The Fellowship program includes clinical training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Epworth Healthcare Richmond, and includes a significant proportion of academic and research activity. The program focuses on robotic-assisted surgery using our three da Vinci© surgical systems, including one dual console system, and also complex pelvic oncology including pelvic exenteration. The program has attracted surgeons from the World’s leading urology centres since it was founded by Professor Costello in 1991 and is one of the most sought-after Fellowships in Urologic Oncology worldwide. It is recognised by training bodies around the world for advanced training in urologic oncology and has been producing fully-trained robotic surgeons since 2004. Since 2012 this program has also included senior trainees from the Surgical Education & Training program of the Urological Society of Australia & New Zealand.

In 2014, the MUTP One Year Fellowship Program became officially affiliated with the EAU Robotic Urology Section (ERUS) and became the only centre outside Europe to be officially recognised by ERUS for the Fellowship in Robotic Surgery. Further information about ERUS can be found here.

These Fellowships are highly sought-after and are usually allocated a number of years in advance. Enquiries should be directed to declan.murphy@petermac.org and anthony.costello@mh.org.au.

2. Mini-Fellowship in Robotic-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy.

This intensive four-day course is aimed at urologists who are planning to transition to, or who have recently transitioned to robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy and who require specialized training in this procedure. It includes the following elements:

  • Pre-course on-line training provided by Intuitive Surgical Ltd
  • All-day hands-on technical training on the da Vinci © Si surgical system provided by Device Technologies Australia
  • Video-based lectures illustrating our 12-step modular approach to robotic radical prostatectomy
  • Observation of four robotic radical prostatectomies performed by our expert faculty, including dual console opportunity
  • Breakfast and evening lectures covering areas such as how to get started and how to improve, management of complications, optimizing functional outcomes.
  • Faculty dinner
  • Optional - participants are welcome to stay for a fifth day to observe two further RARPs or RAPNs depending on operative scheduling.

In addition, our experienced Faculty will support participants through their first few clinical cases by providing proctorship as required. The Mini-Fellowship runs in Melbourne three times per annum and is limited to four participants for each course. Mini-Fellowship Course Flyer and Registration Form.

3. da Vinci© Prostatectomy Masterclass.

This annual one-day Masterclass was initiated in 2011 and is is convened as part of the Asia-Pacific Prostate Cancer Conference (APCC), the largest prostate cancer educational event in the Asia-Pacific region. This event has attracted large numbers of delegates in recent years to hear from world experts in robotic-assisted surgery and has proved one of the most popular and highly-rated parts of the APCC Program. The rapid growth in da Vinci© Surgical Systems installations and robotic-assisted procedure numbers since 2011 has led to a doubling in the number of systems available and a huge increase in the number of urologists transitioning to robotic-assisted surgery.

This Masterclass remains the premium event for surgeons at all levels to hear from the best in the world and to improve their techniques. It is delivered by a highly-distinguished faculty comprised of International and National experts and is convened by Geoff Coughlin, Daniel Moon, Declan Murphy, along with other Faculty members of the Melbourne Uro-Oncology Training Program.

Details of this year’s Masterclass are available here.

4. da Vinci© Surgical Assistants Course.

A skilled surgical assistant is essential to the safe and timely conduct of robotic-assisted surgery and RARP in particular. Specific technical skills are required so assistants are fully competent in the safe use of the surgical cart, and dedicated training in. This one-day course is aimed at robotic radical prostatectomy surgical assistants who have no or minimal experience of the da Vinci© surgical system. The course features full training in technical aspects of the da Vinci© Si Surgical System delivered by the da Vinci© surgery clinical team from Device Technologies Australia, followed by modular video-based instruction in the steps of robotic radical prostatectomy to enhance the surgical assistant’s understanding of this procedure. Highly experienced da Vinci© surgical assistants join with experienced console surgeons to deliver the learning objectives for this course.

Download the da Vinci© Surgical Assistants Course Flyer and Registration Form.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the technology and principles of robotic-assisted surgery using the da Vinci© surgical system.
  • Achieve competency at system preparation, instrument handling, docking and troubleshooting
  • Understand the modular steps of robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy
  • Learn the role and key activities of the surgical assistant during robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy

Course Faculty:

  • Associate Professor Declan G Murphy, Urologist & Director of Robotic Surgery, Peter MacCallum Centre, Melbourne [Course Director]
  • Experienced Fellows from the Melbourne Urology Training Program
  • Dominic Breuker, da Vinci© Surgery Product & Education Manager, Device Technologies Australia
  • da Vinci© Surgery Clinical Training team, Device Technologies Australia

Course timetable:

  • 0900-0915: Registration, coffee and welcome
  • 0915-1030: da Vinci© Si System Overview and Hands-On Training Part 1
  • 1030-1045: Coffee
  • 1045-1230: da Vinci© Si System Overview and Hands-On Training Part 2
  • 1230-1300: Lunch
  • 1300-1600 – Modular Approach to RARP – how to be an excellent patient-side surgeon. Video-based instruction; Equipment issues; Troubleshooting. Includes coffee break.
  • 1600: Presentation of Certificates and close

In addition, there is some flexible time during the day to experience the da Vinci© Skills Simulator and spend some time on the da Vinci© console.

Further details of these courses are available for download above. Follow @declangmurphy on Twitter for other updates or email declan.murphy@petermac.org with specific enquiries.

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