Dr Michael Levitt

Dr Michael LevittI am a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Western Australia. I graduated in 1981, proceeded to train in Surgery in Perth, Western Australia and obtained my Specialist Degree (or College Fellowship) in 1988. I then spent two and a half years in England pursuing sub-specialty training in Colorectal Surgery including a period of research in gastrointestinal physiology at London’s famous St Mark’s Hospital.

I returned to Perth as a Specialist Colorectal Surgeon in my own right in 1990, working both in the public and private sectors of the health industry and taking time to complete and then extend the research I had started in London. To date, I have published over 30 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.

I rapidly developed an interest in the management of “functional” bowel disorders – constipation, incontinence and irritable bowel syndrome – and a reputation for my particular approach to treating these conditions. As a general rule, I have found that surgery has only a limited role to play in the management of these conditions. I found surgery to be technically achievable but it frequently failed to meet my patients’ expectations of improvement.

At the same time, my operative work has concentrated heavily on colorectal cancer surgery and surgery for inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). I have been a member of the Executive Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and its Chairman from 2005 – 2007. I have also been an Examiner in General Surgery for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons between 1997 and 2004.

I have regularly been asked to lecture for University courses and to speak in public about a wide range of colorectal conditions. I was honoured, in 2003, by being awarded a Centenary Medal in recognition of my work in raising public awareness and understanding about colorectal cancer. More recently, I have been working closely with the Western Australian Cancer Council, speaking to General Practitioners and Nurses across Western Australia in support of the Council’s vital agenda to introduce a population-wide colorectal cancer screening programme for every citizen.

In 2002 my first book was published by Oxford University Press. Entitled “The Bowel Book”, it is a self-help guide for the general public covering a wide range of subjects related to disorders of the large bowel, anus and pelvic floor. In 2008, I have written and published a second book, also for the general public, specifically about sluggish bowels, bloating and constipation. It is entitled “The (other) Women’s Movement”.

I am married and we have three children who have all now completed their school education. In my spare time I am a voluntary worker for my local community as a school council member and my main “outside interest” is contemporary Australian Art.

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