Prabhakar brings skills to Bendigo cancer centre

THE Bendigo Advertiser is continuing to publish a series of profiles on healthcare specialists working in Bendigo.

The Central Victorian Medical Recruitment Taskforce worked diligently to create a sustainable medical workforce in central Victoria and the Bendigo Advertiser is helping to spread the word about the expertise available in Bendigo.

PRABHAKAR Ramachandran is making the most of his new life in Bendigo.

Associate Professor Ramachandran moved from India to Australia with his wife and their two children in 2010 after visiting the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre's physical sciences department in 2009.

Dr Ramachandran has given Bendigo the tick of approval and last week he became an Australian citizen.

"Before I moved here I was working in Delhi which is highly populated," he said.

"So moving to Australia was nice - it's really clean. I came straight to Bendigo. I like this place."

Dr Ramachandran is a senior physicist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre’s Bendigo Radiotherapy Centre.

He has 18 years experience as a physicist and gained his certification in the USA last year making him the only physicist in Australia to have medical physics qualification in three countries - Australia, India and the USA.  

Comparing his study across the three countries, Dr Ramachandran said gaining qualification in Australia was the most challenging because the assessment included a practical component.

His role at Peter Mac involves management of Radiation Oncology Medical Physics services at Bendigo, providing scientific and technical expertise to assure safe and effective delivery of radiation for the treatment to people with cancer in the Loddon Mallee.

Dr Ramachandran has also published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals and, in January, was appointed as an adjunct Associate Professor in the school of Medical Radiations at RMIT University.

"I teach medical radiation students," he said.

"We also take classes for radiation oncology registrars."

Dr Ramachandran has also played a part in shaping the new Bendigo Hospital project which will include an integrated regional cancer centre.

"It is exciting," he said. "It will make things easier being integrated. Every fortnight we have a meeting to discuss the design and from a physics point of view we need to check the design is correct."

Meanwhile, construction at the new Bendigo Hospital project site continues at a high rate with all four tower cranes in operation. Structural construction for the Oncology Ward is now well underway and is comprised of two portions, one which is common with the majority of the hospital and the smaller specialised bunkers. The bunkers have been specially designed to contain the radiation being emitted.

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