Renowned surgeon Dr. Hugh Bartholomeusz was appointed OUM Professor and Dean for Australia to focus on strengthening relationships with hospitals in the region as well as educating future generations of physicians. 

Professor Bartholomeusz Brings Impressive Combination of  Military and Academic Medicine 

Oceania University of Medicine has appointed Air Vice-Marshal (Retd) Frederick Anthony “Hugh” Bartholomeusz, OAM, RFD, MBBS, FRACS as Professor and Dean for Australia. A renowned military physician and plastic surgeon, nationally and beyond, Professor Bartholomeusz’s appointment is effective 1 July 2020.

A Brisbane native, Professor Bartholomeusz earned his medical degree from the University of Queensland where he was also an Associate Professor. Obtaining Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1984, he was in private plastic surgery practice in Brisbane and the West Moreton Region from 1985 until June 2020. He recently retired from his role as the Senior Plastic Surgeon at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

“I look forward to working with OUM’s non-traditional medical students, many adult learners who are eager to learn and focused on the prize – earning their medical degrees,” says Professor Bartholomeusz. “A majority of these students remain practicing healthcare professionals during their pre-clinical studies, juggling work, families, and studies, to answer a call many had, even as children, to become doctors. I am eager to work with them and help them reach that goal.”

One of Professor Bartholomeusz’s first tasks, and a primary role as Dean, is to strengthen relationships with Australian hospitals, both urban and in the country, to arrange and facilitate clinical rotations for OUM students. He will also work with the Australian Medical Council and the country’s registration body (AHPRA) to explore internship opportunities for OUM’s Australian graduates.

Unmatched experience – military and academic medicine

Originally commissioned into the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve (RAAF) in 1972, Dr. Bartholomeusz has performed clinical duties at RAAF Base Amberley and 3 Combat Support Hospital RAAF Base Richmond concurrently with his numerous community and teaching hospital positions. He was appointed Director General Air Force Health Reserves and promoted to Air Commodore in 2007. In November 2011, he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal, serving as the Surgeon General, Australian Defence Force Reserves until 2015.

A clinical teacher at the University of Queensland since 1985, Dr. Bartholomeusz was appointed Associate Professor in 2013. At both Ipswich General and Greenslopes Private hospitals, he managed placements and taught medical students from the University of Queensland, Griffith University, and overseas medical schools in the operating theatre, during ward rounds, and in outpatient facilities. He was also Clinical Supervisor for Interns, Junior Medical Officers, and Principal House Officers.

“This impressive background in both military and academic medicine, with experience in regional and international aspects of medical education and patient care, made Dr. Bartholomeusz the spot-on candidate to guide OUM’s Australian students and contribute a unique perspective to the University’s senior leadership,” says Dr. Viali Lameko, OUM’s Vice Chancellor.

Upon earning his MBBS, Dr. Bartholomeusz transferred from the RAAF Administration Branch to its Medical Branch. He has served in many national and international capacities in the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC), eventually becoming World President of the International Air Cadet Exchange Association and Chairman of the Australian Air Force Cadets National Council from 2014 to 2019.

Dr. Bartholomeusz was elected to the Executive of the International Association of Ambulatory Surgery, has been Chairman of the Australian Day Surgery Council, and is a Past President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is a Section Editor of the Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery and has participated with Interplast Australia, providing surgical services in its humanitarian assistance mission to Fiji.

OUM began its senior leadership search upon current Dean for Australia Meshach G. Kirubakaran, MBBS, MD (Gen. Med.), DM (Neph), MHA, FRACP announcing his retirement in 2019. Dr. Kirubakaran has been with the University for eight years.

“He is a remarkable nephrologist and medical educator. Dr. Kirubakaran has made extraordinary contributions to OUM’s growth and to the careers of many young Australian doctors,” says Dr. Lameko.

Dr. Bartholomeusz and his wife live in Brisbane. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.

Headquartered at the National Hospital Complex in Apia, Samoa, Oceania University of Medicine has approximately 240 students, born in more than 50 countries and studying from 10, all working toward the MD degree. Graduates receive post-graduate internship and residency specialty training at teaching hospitals and practice medicine in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Samoa, and the United States. OUM is accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools—a joint publication of the World Federation for Medical Education and Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, and recognized by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.  For more information, visit

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