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Dr Ryan Sommerville
BSc, Post Grad Dip (P Health), MBBS, FRACS (ORL)

Dr Sommerville is an Australian trained Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgeon. After completing his specialty training in 2008, Dr Sommerville worked as a private Consultant ENT surgeon on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, and publicly at Logan Hospital in 2009.

His sub-specialty training in Skull Base Surgery was undertaken in 2010 in Bergamo, Italy under Professor Giovanni Danesi, who is widely regarded as one of the best Skull Base surgeons in the world.

Dr Sommerville was fortunate enough to be the first ever Fellow for Professor Danesi. Professor Danesi’s presence at teaching courses in ENT and Skull Base surgery is highly valued, and Dr Sommerville was lucky enough to have a full year of daily tutelage, learning surgical skills but also Dr Danesi’s strategy of management of complicated skull base disease.

Teaching and Research

While in Italy Dr Sommerville was able to further his skills in both all aspects of Skull Base Surgery, be involved in research in skull base disease, as well as the opportunity to be on the teaching faculty of two international courses, one on Middle Ear Surgery and the other on Anterior and Lateral Skull Base Surgery, and to present research at international skull base conferences.

Teaching is very important to Dr Sommerville – he regularly tutors medical students as well as junior medical staff, nurses, and also senior trainees approaching their final specialist exams. He also enjoys upskilling his General Practice colleagues in ENT assessment and management.

Dr Sommerville’s research interests have evolved with a focus on cancer and skull base. His current projects range from collaborative projects with QIMR-Berghofer, the Herston Imaging Research Facility, The Centre for Advanced Imaging and also Jefferson University in the US.

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH)

The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital is where Dr Sommerville spent a lot of his junior years and he is very proud to be on staff there. It is where he coordinates the skull base surgery services, which includes the Skull Base Multi-Disciplinary Meeting which is a fortnightly meeting of all specialties involved in skull base patients – neurosurgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, neuro- and interventional radiology, neuropathology and of course ENT.

His attendance at the RBWH Head and Neck Cancer Multi-Disciplinary Meeting is extremely rewarding. As one of the biggest Head and Neck Cancer Centres in Australia, and the biggest in Qld, it is a busy but incredibly useful part of a patient’s management path. Dr Sommerville is also the lead surgeon in the Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery service for Head and Neck Cancer at the RBWH.

As well as his sub-specialty interests, Dr Sommerville has excellent general training in and genuinely enjoys all aspects of ENT surgery, both paediatric and adult, and would be very keen to assist General Practitioners or other Specialists with their patients.

Charity Work

Due to the lack of support for skull base research in Australia, Dr Sommerville has founded two options for charitable donations that directly support Skull Base Research. One option supports national research and is a part of the ANZ Head and Neck Cancer Society, and the other directly supports the Skull Base Research at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Both are tax deductible and are greatly appreciated in the fight for better patient outcomes. Dr Sommerville is proud to serve on the Board of the ANZ Head and Neck Cancer Society Foundation.

Anyone interested in supporting skull base research is welcome to contact either Dr Sommerville or his staff to facilitate the process. Any and all support is always welcome.
Dr Sommerville lives in Brisbane with his family, and enjoys most sports, particularly cycling and running.