Life On The Job


Famous or Historic People

Dr. Munjed Al Muderis - Orthopaedic Surgeon

with xrays

Introduction

Munjed Al Muderis, MB ChB FRACS, FAOrthA, is an orthopaedic surgeon, an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, Sydney Campus at the University of Notre Dame Australia and a clinical lecturer at Macquarie University and The Australian School Of Advanced Medicine. Munjed is a leading Hip Surgeon, Knee Surgeon, and Osseointegration Specialist in Australia. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Chairman of the Osseointegration Group of Australia. (Source: His website)


Education

Associate Professor (A/Prof) Al Muderis graduated from Baghdad College High School (The American Jesuit) in 1991. He studied medicine at Baghdad University from 1991 to 1997.


Did You Know?

Munjed wanted to be a surgeon since he was a teenager - at age 12 - and saw Arnold Schwarzenegger's cybernetic limbs in The Terminator. He explained how he was inspired by Terminator to develop pioneering surgery involving bionic limbs called Osseointegration.

Terminator

Bionic Hand

A/Prof Al Muderis joined the Australian Orthopaedic Training Program in 2004 as part of the Sydney NSW Orthopaedic Training Scheme and obtained his surgical fellowship, FRACS (Orth), in 2008.

A/Prof Al Muderis went on to complete three post specialisation fellowships.

 First he attended a six month national fellowship in Sydney with Dr Ali Gursel in Lower Limb Arthroplasty at the Sydney Adventist and Baulkham Hills Hospitals. Then he moved overseas to Berlin, Germany where he completed a nine month fellowship in Hip and Knee Arthroplasty with Prof. Dr. Med. Jorg Scholz at the Emil von Behring Hospital, a Teaching Hospital of the Charite Medical School. His third post was a three month Trauma Fellowship with Prof. Dr. Med. Axel Ekkernkamp at the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin (UKB,) also a Teaching Hospital of the Charite Medical School.

During A/Prof Al Muderis’ time in Europe he attended several short-term courses and workshops, including:

  • A two week intensive workshop on hip resurfacing with Dr Gerdesmyer - major designer of the Onlay Hip Resurfacing System at the Sankt Elisabeth Kranhenhaus Kiel, Germany
  • The Anterior Approach Hip Arthoplasty Using Harmonic Scalpel workshop with Dr. Marcus Michel - the designer of the MIS Anterior Approach of Hip Arthroplasty in Bern, Switzerland
  • The Anterior Approach Hip Arthroplasty Hip Surgery workshop using traction device with Dr Stephane Denjean in Lyon, France
  • The Endo-Exo Prosthesis workshop with Dr. Grundi and Dr. H Aschoff in Lubeck, Germany
  • The Total Femur Replacement and Tumour Prosthesis Implantation Techniques workshop with Professor Ashel in Nuremburg, Germany (Source: His website)

Experiences and Opportunities

As a first year resident A/Prof Al Muderis was forced to flee Iraq as he refused Saddam’s regime brutal orders to surgically remove the ears of soldiers who had escaped from the army.

He ended up on a flimsy wooden boat heading to his new home, Australia.
 (Source: His website)

A Refugee in Detention Camp in Western Australia - Number "982"

Curtin Detention Centre
Curtin Detention Centre - closed 2015

In 1999, Munjed Al Muderis was a young surgical resident working in Baghdad when a squad of Military Police marched into the operating theatre and ordered the surgical team to mutilate the ears of three busloads of army deserters. When the head of surgery refused, he was executed in front of his staff. Munjed's choices were stark--comply and breach the medical oath 'do no harm', refuse and face certain death, or flee.

That day, Munjed's life changed forever. He escaped to Indonesia, where he boarded a filthy, overcrowded refugee boat, bound for Australia.

Like his fellow passengers, he hoped for a new life, free from fear and oppression, but for ten months he was incarcerated in what became known as the worst of the refugee camps, Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia. There he was known only by a number, locked in solitary confinement and repeatedly told to go back to Iraq.

On 26 August 2000, Munjed was finally freed.
(Source: Allen & Unwin)

ABC Sunday Night
September 2014 - Audio File
(Caution: very graphic descriptions)

ABC Radio National
September 2014 - Audio File
(Caution: very graphic descriptions)

 

Work Experience

A/Prof Al Muderis’ first job in Australia was at Mildura Base Hospital as an Emergency Unit and Orthopaedic Resident. Four months later he moved to Melbourne as a Surgical Registrar at the Austin Repatriation Hospital. His career next took him to Wollongong Hospital where he spent a year as an unaccredited Orthopaedic Registrar followed by a year at Canberra Hospital.


A/Prof Al Muderis commenced his private practice in 2010 and is currently appointed as a Clinical Lecturer at Macquarie University Hospital and The Australian School of Advanced Medicine. He also have appointments at The Sydney Adventist Hospital and Norwest Private Hospital.

A/Prof Al Muderis sees patients at his Macquarie University, Bella Vista, Drummoyne and Sydney Adventist Hospital clinics.

He specialises in hip, knee and trauma surgery with particular interest in hip arthroscopy, resurfacing, minimally invasive hip arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty and reconstruction of recurrent patellar dislocations. He is also a world leading surgeon in the field of osseointegration surgery.

In 2014 his memoir Walking Free was published by Allen and Unwin.

Walking Free

He lives in Sydney with his wife Irina, a GP, and their two daughters and black poodle Mozart.  (Source: His website)

 

YouTube: From Refugee to Medical Revolutionary | Munjed Al Muderis | TEDxSydney 2015
https://youtu.be/tPrR7TIRp3g

 

YouTube:Dr Munjed Al Muderis and the new Robotic Leg on The Project
https://youtu.be/OuLyd6vzopA

 

YouTube: Iraqi Surgeon gives War Amputees a Second Chance at life - Foreign Correspondent
https://youtu.be/yVwNs--EGdg

 



Links

Munjed Al Muderis: website

Dr Munjed Al Muderis - website

YouTube: Collection of Videos by Dr Munjed Al Muderis

YouTube Collection
A Current Affair

A Current Affair

Sydney Morning Herald - 20 September 2014

SMH 20 September 2014
ABC - Conversations with Richard Fidler 19 August 2015 - audio file (50 mins)

Conversations with Richard Fidler
News: 8 March 2014
Inspiring tale of former refugee Dr Munjed Al Muderis and war hero Michael Swain


News
News: May 2015
A/Prof Munjed Al Muderis: The refugee turned top surgeon who's caught Prince Harry's attention


News 2015
TEDx: Munjed Al Muderis

TEDx
Women's Weekly

Women's Weekly
The Canberra Times: 30 March 2014

Canberra Times


Activities

You and your dreams to help the world!

 MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

1. Dr Munjed Al Muderis was impressed by "The Terminator" and became determined to become a surgeon as a 12 year old. He came to Australia as a refugee, retrained, and is now a leading surgeon in Osseointegration (embedding Titanium Implant into the bone of the amputee to aid walking).

2. His story is fascinating and complex. You are to create a timeline and add images and sound bites to a Sway presentation.

Sway

3. Create your own story to date! What is your "Terminator" experience - a movie, a book that has impressed you to contribute to your world.

 

Refugee "982"!

MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

1. Dr Munjed Al Muderis was given the number "982" at Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia and called that number instead of his name for the whole ten months that he was held there.

2. The Australian Human Rights Commission clearly states:

The human rights of people who are in immigration detention are of special concern to the Commission. Liberty is a fundamental human right, recognised in major human rights instruments to which Australia is a party, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. People who are held in detention are particularly vulnerable to violations of their human rights.

AHRC

The human rights of people in immigration detention

Australia’s international human rights obligations are relevant to how people are treated while in immigration detention.

These treaties cover a broad range of rights and freedoms. Key human rights principles in these treaties which are relevant to people in immigration detention include:

  • Everyone has the right not to be subjected to arbitrary detention.

  • Children should only be detained as a measure of last resort, and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

  • Anyone who is detained has the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention in court, and should have access to independent legal advice and assistance.

  • All persons who are detained should be treated with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity.

  • No one should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

  • In all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration.

  • Refugees and people with certain claims under the ICCPR, CAT or CRC cannot be returned to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened.

  • Everyone is entitled to respect for their human rights without discrimination. (Source: Australian Human Rights Commission)

3. TeacherTeacher. Tell all your students that for the next 4 lessons, you will call each student by a number as indicated by their roll number.

4. Students, you are to write in a diary your reaction to be called only by a number by your teacher. Describe your feelings in great detail.

 

 

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