Clinical Professor of Paediatric SurgeryONZM MB ChB(Otago) MS(Melb) FRACS (Paediatric Surgery) FAICD
Spencer is a Professor of Paediatric Surgery and the Clinical Director of the Department of Paediatric Surgery, Christchurch Hospital. Until 1996, he was a consultant paediatric surgeon and paediatric urologist at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and Senior lecturer at Melbourne University.
He was a founding member of the Child Cancer and the Developmental Genetics Research Group, and was a board member of the Rainbow Children's Trust. He is a current trustee of the Children's Cancer Research Trust (Canterbury). He has developed a regional service for paediatric surgery throughout the South Island, providing outreach regular clinics and operating sessions in every South Island public hospital.
His clinical research has involved development of measures of outcome in paediatric surgery, gender equity, and the effect of configuration of surgical services on clinical outcomes.
He is the former Vice-President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Chairman of the Governance and Advocacy Committee, Chairman of the Board of Surgical Education and Training, Deputy Censor-in-Chief and Chair of the Court of Examiners of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and has been responsible for the governance of the surgical training programmes in all specialties in Australia and New Zealand. Also, he is a former New Zealand Censor, Chair of the Board of Paediatric Surgery and Senior Examiner in Paediatric Surgery RACS.
He is a previous president of the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons (now known as the Australia and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons) and is the current President of the New Zealand Society of Paediatric Surgeons. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pacific Association of Pediatric Surgeons. He is on the Male Champions of Change STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) group, working towards removing the impediments to gender equity.
He recently retired as the specialty editor for Paediatric Surgery of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, but remains a Senior Editor of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. He has written or edited nine textbooks on paediatric surgery and related subjects. He is currently editing the Oxford University Press textbook on Paediatric Surgery.
Spencer's research interests have included:
- Oesophageal atresia and its embryogenesis
- Control of the development of the foregut and hindgut
- iPS differentiation into contracting smooth muscle
- Surgical education and assessment
- Neonatal thoracoscopic simulation model for training in technical skills
- Unconscious bias in surgical selection
- Impediments to gender equity in surgery