Alumni profile: Dr Milap Rughani

Dr Milap Rughani (MSc(Res) Oncology, 2011) is currently a Consultant Plastic Surgeon in Brisbane, Australia. We asked him a few questions about his time in college, current work and his life outside the hospital.

Why did you choose Green Templeton for your place of study?

I was working at the Oxford University Hospital’s undertaking training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Plastic surgery receives a lot of publicity for the cosmetic operations however most of my training and work often involves rebuilding people’s bodies after trauma or cancer.

Milap Rughani Profile PictureDuring my training I frequently operated on patients who had Melanoma, a lot of them were younger adults (aged 18 to 35 years). At that time, despite our operations I was seeing a lot of deaths in this age group and Melanoma became one of the biggest causes of cancer deaths in young adults. I soon realised my surgical knife was not enough and I wanted to learn more about the science of Melanoma as a cancer. I therefore decided to pursue postgraduate research and undertake a master of science in Melanoma. I also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning Teaching in Higher Education.

I chose Green Templeton College as it had a welcoming environment, a great reputation for science and a community feel. I conducted my research outside of the surgical department and within the University of Oxford Medical Oncology department and my laboratories were based at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. During my time at GTC I felt welcome and attended interesting evening talks and seminars. The dining room was a delight and many friends always asked if they could come and dine.

A particular memory was when I had my 30th birthday party with some friends from the college at the quad and gardens. It was such a picturesque and special venue.

I was grateful to so many people in Oxford, those at the college, within my departments and my mentors; Professors Mark Middleton and Colin Goding. One of my greatest lessons came from seeing an experiment not work after weeks of work and then learning how and why it didn’t work, these lessons have made me a better surgeon.

I would encourage anyone wanting to study at GTC to take a step beyond your comfort zone, meet new people and embrace your failed experiments!

Can you give an overview of your current role?

Milap Rughani At Work As A SurgeonI completed my Plastic Surgery training in Oxford and gained my Fellowship in Plastic Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons. I decided to undertake international fellowships in Microsurgery, head and neck cancer and Melanoma in Australia. I travelled to international meetings presenting my research and was shortlisted for the British Association of Plastic Surgeons Presidents prize.

I now live and work as a Consultant Plastic Surgeon in Brisbane, Australia. I have an interest in complex skin cancer, melanoma and head and neck reconstruction for patients across Australia. I recently performed one of the world’s first reconstructions using a 3D printed jaw bone.

I am a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland where I have an active research in advanced skin cancers. I also continue to teach and train medical students and doctors and have now launched my own podcast (@Spotify Ministryofsurgery).

What do you do outside work?

I try and cycle to work as frequently as I can and play golf and cricket. My greatest joy is now spending time with my wife and two daughters (aged 6 and 8, who were both born in Oxford).