The University Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Newborn Health* is responsible for teaching Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatal Paediatrics, to MD medical students. Currently, each year approximately 350 medical students spend 8 weeks (across 4 rotations) attached to the Department during the third year of their medical course. In addition, there are graduate research students pursuing full-time or part-time research through the Department. These include Honours, Master of Biomedical Sciences and Doctor of Philosophy students. In Quarter 2 of 2023, there were approximately 37 graduate research students enrolled in the Department undertaking their PhD, including 2 under examination.

The Vision of the Department is to be an internationally recognised centre of excellence for academic Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatal Paediatrics, and its Mission is to provide high quality academic services across a broad range of clinical, educational and research activities within its associated teaching hospitals, and especially at its major centres, the Royal Women's Hospital and the Mercy Hospital for Women.

Other associated teaching hospitals are the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s at St. Albans (part of Western Health),  the Northern Hospital in Epping (part of Northern Health), the St Vincent’s and the Epworth Clinical Schools (and private hospitals) and the Ballarat Hospital and Goulburn Valley Hospital (Shepparton), both of which are linked to the Department of Rural Health.’

The Department is committed to establishing and maintaining a workplace culture consistent with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences’ values of Respect, Accountability, Compassion, Collaboration and Teamwork, and Integrity.

The Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Newborn Health has a strong research base with a history of significant competitive grant funding success from external, peer reviewed, grant awarding bodies. Particular areas of current research strength include maternal fetal medicine, neonatal paediatrics, women's health, infectious diseases, gynaecological oncology and reproductive biology. In 2022, the Department received Commonwealth grant funding of $5.0m and State Government and Other grant funding of $4.7m. The Department is also very successful in attracting philanthropic income to support its research endeavours and is very thankful for the generosity of its donors.

Staff of the Department include clinical academics, research fellows, research assistants and other research support personnel, administrative personnel and a teaching staff associated with the various teaching hospitals involved in the delivery of the Department's graduate teaching programme. As of December 2022, the Department has 89 fixed term and continuing staff (headcount). The Department is also grateful for its 135 honorary staff who contribute to and help to successfully deliver the teaching and research activities of the Department.

The origins of the University of Melbourne Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology can be traced back to 1924, when the Victorian Branch of the British Medical Association appointed a committee under the leadership of Dr J W Dunbar Hooper "to enquire into the condition of midwifery work" in Victoria.

*The Department name change from Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Newborn Health was endorsed by the Vice Chancellor on 1st August 2023

Prof Sue Walker AO
Professor Susan Walker AO
MBBS (Hons), MD, FRANZCOG, DDU, CMFM, GDipEpid & Biostat, PhD, DipRACOG
Sheila Handbury Chair of Maternal Fetal Medicine
Head of Department Obstetrics and Gynaecology The University of Melbourne
Director Perinatal Medicine Mercy Hospital for Women

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