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Sydney Shoulder Research Institute - Past Fellows
2021 Fellow

Dr Robert Piggott


Robert Piggott

2021 Fellow


Originally from Gort, in south county Galway in the west of Ireland, I attended the National University of Ireland, Galway for my undergraduate medical training. I graduated with honours in 2010. I completed my postgraduate surgical training on the national orthopaedic training schemes with the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

I undertook a Masters in Surgery (MCh) with the NUI, Galway and a further Masters in Orthopaedic Trauma Science (MSc) with Queen Mary University, London. I was awarded FRCS (T&O) in 2020.

I travelled to Sydney to continue my surgical training with the Sydney Shoulder Research Institute under the guidance of Dr Cass, Dr Young and Dr Hughes from July 2021 – 2022. Here I was exposed to high volume, tertiary referral practice encompassing all aspects of trauma and elective shoulder and elbow surgery. Following my year in Australia, I then travelled to the Upper Limb Unit at Wrightington in the UK for a second post graduate fellowship in shoulder and elbow surgery.

I have been appointed as a Consultant Shoulder and Elbow surgeon at St James’s Hospital and Tallaght University Hospital in Dublin and will take up my post on completion of my fellowship in the UK.

My Fellowship Story

The best laid plans sometimes don’t come to pass but I am so grateful that in my case they did. I had worked for two previous SSRI fellows during my training in Ireland, who spoke highly of their time in Sydney both professionally and socially. I was lucky to secure my place on the highly competitive SSRI fellowship programme in 2019, which I thought would be the biggest challenge. How wrong I was.

Fast forward to June 2021, 2 years into a global pandemic and world-wide travel still limited, we packed our bags. The days when you could easily travel the world with just a passport and a credit card were on hold. We will be forever indebted to Jasmin at the SSRI. Without her helping us navigate the necessary paper work for both medical registration and COVID-19 travel exemption, we would never have had the adventure of a lifetime. After one last headache of having our flights cancelled with a week to go, I finally boarded the plane with my wife and two sons (aged 2 years and 6 months). After a surprisingly enjoyable hotel quarantine experience, we had arrived and loved every minute of the next 12 months.

From a professional stand point, I could not recommend Dr Cass, Dr Young and Dr Hughes more as mentors for others looking to learn. Every aspect of shoulder and elbow surgery was covered, be it in the operating theatre, clinic room, small group tutorial or at the coffee table between cases. I was exposed to a high volume caseload, a spectrum of complexity and had the opportunity to develop my own skills set. For years to come, I will be recalling what I learnt at the SSRI as I start my own practice.

From a personal stand front, my family loved our adventure. We have made lifelong memories and fell in love with the city and wider Australian culture. It really is one of the best cities in the world for young families. At the SSRI, I have made lifelong friends that I will be indebted to forever for the opportunity they gave me. The year exceeded my expectations in every way.

Robert Piggott