Dr Darren Pavey is an Interventional Endoscopist with extensive clinical experience in the endoscopic diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancers. His clinical practice is enhanced by his interest in clinical outcomes research for endoscopic management of GI malignancies.
Dr Pavey completed an Advanced Fellowship in ERCP, EUS and Interventional Endoscopy at Duke University in North Carolina; he was a Faculty member at Duke until he returned to Sydney to establish his practice in 2008.
Dr Pavey is Co-Chair, Gastroenterology Network, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), and Head of Endoscopy at Bankstown Hospital. He established and runs the Barrett’s Program in the South West Sydney Local Health District and has co-written the guidelines for the Cancer Council of NSW for the treatment of Barrett’s Esophagus. Dr Pavey is the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) representative on the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (CCRTGE), which reflects his ongoing interests in training and maintaining quality in endoscopy. He is also closely involved in the research of outcomes for patients with esophageal, gastric, pancreatic and bowel cancers and collaborates with the Australian Gastrointestinal Trials Group (AGITG) and other researcher institutions, including the Garvan Research Institute and the Ingham Institute.
He is Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University.
Current Teaching Positions
- Conjoint Senior Lecturer, University of NSW
- Clinical Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University
- Australian Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Association (AGEA)
- Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA)
- American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
- American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)
- American College of Gastroenterology (ACG).
Q&A with Dr Darren Pavey
Q&A with Dr Darren Pavey
What is your title?
Interventional Endoscopist and Gastroenterologist
What training have you completed?
- Medical student, RPAH 1991
- Intern, Resident medical officer and Medical Registrar, Sydney 1993-1999
- Gastroenterology Advanced Training, Sydney 2000-3
- Staff Specialist, Gastroenterology, Liverpool Hospital 2003-4
- Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship, Duke University, North Carolina, USA 2004-6
- Interventional Endoscopist, Associate in Medicine (Faculty Member), Duke University, North Carolina, USA 2006-8
- Masters in Health Sciences (MHS) Program, Duke University, 2006-8
- Interventional Endoscopist, Staff Specialist, SWSLHD, 2008-current
- Conjoint Senior Lecturer, UNSW 2008-current
- Interventional Endoscopist, VMO, SLHD, 2011-current
- Clinical Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University 2012-current
- Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (CCRTGE), RACP Committee Member, 2010-current
- Co-Chair, Gastroenterology Network, NSW Health, Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) 2012-current
Why did you want to work in healthcare?
I knew that I wanted to be a doctor from a young age. Initially I commenced training as a general practitioner but found that I was referring all the challenging cases onto specialists. That’s when I decided to specialize and Gastroenterology was a great fit because I enjoy the procedural side. During my medical school training at RPAH I had the opportunity to have Dr Chris O’Brien as one of my tutors. It is a privilege to now continue his work in caring for cancer patients at Lifehouse.
What is your professional background?
I am an Interventional Endoscopist and Gastroenterologist with extensive clinical experience in the endoscopic diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancers. My clinical practice is augmented by my interest in innovation, quality in healthcare and clinical outcomes research for endoscopic management of GI malignancies.
Innovation including new technologies, advanced diagnostic imaging, and new minimally invasive treatments. I am currently the Co-Chair, Gastroenterology Network, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI). The ACI works with clinicians, consumers and managers to design and promote better healthcare for NSW. We recently implemented an endoscopy reporting system across NSW public hospitals, which will allow us to capture information regarding endoscopy procedure across the state.
Quality and training in Endoscopy. I am the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) representative on the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (CCRTGE), which evaluates training for physicians and surgeons seeking credentialing in endoscopy procedures. I also train registrars and other Gastroenterologists in advanced endoscopy techniques including ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), endoscopic mucosal resection and radiofrequency ablation.
Research and teaching. I am closely involved in the research of outcomes for patients with esophageal, gastric, pancreatic and bowel cancers collaborate with the Australian Gastrointestinal Trials Group (AGITG) and other researcher institutions, including the Garvan Research Institute and the Ingham Institute.
I am a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University. We regularly have medical and nursing students attend endoscopy sessions so they can learn more about what we do which helps when they are explaining procedures to patients.
To explain to people what I do I say…
Interventional endoscopy encompasses a variety of endoscopic procedures used to diagnose and treat diseases that are typically beyond the scope of regular endoscopic techniques. By combining advanced imaging and device technology with technical expertise, I am able to help patients to avoid more invasive traditional treatment approaches such as surgery. These procedures are minimally invasive, meaning they are performed using thin flexible tubes advanced through the body’s natural orifices such as the mouth and rectum, thus avoiding the complications associated with surgery and providing faster recovery times. Interventional endoscopy is utilized in the treatment of bile duct stones, stenting of the gastrointestinal tract, treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding, and the diagnosis and treatment of tumors involving the esophagus, stomach, biliary system, pancreas, small bowel and colon. The procedures are typically performed on an outpatient basis, and most patients may return home the same day.
What is the hardest part about your job?
It is always difficult to inform a patient that they have cancer. Fortunately, we now are able to detect precancerous changes at an early stage through screening and much of my work is in screening and prevention. The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) is an important step forward on a national level and I am proud to be a part of this program which is already saving lives through the prevention and early detection of bowel cancer. We are also able to treat some early cancers with new interventional endoscopy techniques, so many of my patients are able to get on with a normal life.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is the amazing feedback I receive from my patients. We are now able to detect and treat many pre-cancerous and early cancer cases endoscopically, thereby avoiding major surgery. This had had a dramatic impact on the quality of life for my patients, since they are usually able to go home the same day instead of a needing prolonged stay in Hospital recovering from an operation.
How long have you been working at Lifehouse?
I commenced at Lifehouse July 2015 when the Hospital opened for inpatient care. Whilst most of my patients come in for day surgery and go home the same day, it is reassuring to know that there is expert quality care available if they need to stay overnight following a procedure.
What attracted you to working at Lifehouse?
I am excited to be able to offer the highest quality care to my patients. Lifehouse has the state of the art equipment required for advanced interventional endoscopy procedures and I am well supported by the excellent staff. I enjoy collaborating with the world class clinicians to ensure the best outcome for our patients and the ability to advance medical knowledge through our research and education projects.
What does Lifehouse offer patients that is so unique?
Lifehouse is unique in terms of the holistic approach to cancer care and I am privileged to work with superb clinicians and allied health staff to offer uncompromising care. Patients have access to the latest technologies and also innovative treatments through our clinical research trials.
My proudest achievement at work is…
The thanks I receive at the end of the day from my patients. I am proud to be able to offer them world-class care during what is often the most challenging time in their lives.
I do what I do because…
I am fortunate to work with some amazing people, who continue to motivate me to do better, and I look forward to one day living in a world without cancer.
At work I am always learning that…
I am continually inspired by the courage and dignity of my patients and their families.
To unwind at the end of the day I…
I enjoy the company of my family. We take the opportunity to go sailing as often as we can as it helps to clear the mind and at the same time requires a great deal of teamwork.