David Watters originally trained in Edinburgh and is a General Surgeon with special interests in Endocrine, Emergency and Colorectal Surgery.
Professor of Surgery at the University of Melbourne (2000-2010), Professor of Surgery at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby (1992-2000), a year as visiting lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1991), senior lecturer at the University of Zambia (1985-1990), and senior registrar at the King Edward VIII and McCord Zulu hospitals in Durban, South Africa (1982-1984). In 2007, David Watters was elected as a Councillor of RACS, and became Chairman of the International Committee.
In 2008, he was elected by Council as Chair of External Affairs for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). In 2012, David Watters was elected chair of the Professional Development and Standards Board.
David Watters is the author/editor of five textbooks relating to surgical practice in the tropics. His publication record includes over 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters covering a wide range of subjects such as surgical training, surgical audit, trauma, peritonitis, critical care, gastrointestinal disorders, colorectal surgery, tropical diseases and HIV infection.
David Watters has given over 200 conference presentations, including some keynote and prestigious lectures; these include twice being Congress visitor for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting, in rural (1996) and in general/rural surgery (2004). David Watters is one of the original authors of the RACS guide to surgical audit and peer review, now in its third edition. David Watters has also significantly contributed to the RACS guide to surgical competence and performance (June 2008) and was chair of the Performance Assessment Steering Committee responsible for the second edition of the guide (October 2011). In recent years David Watters has taken an interest in the delivery of emergency surgery, leading a pilot project in Geelong. He has also been a founding faculty member of the Management of Surgical Emergencies (MOSES) course under the auspices of General Surgeons Australia (GSA). David Watters has just completed a book Stitches in Time that covers the history of surgery in Papua New Guinea (1800-2000), and is an active member of the RACS section of Surgical History.
Since David Watters arrived in Australia in 2000, he has continued to support Papua New Guinea’s department of surgery in terms of teaching, research and examining. He was RACS Director for the Pacific Islands Project (2002-2012) and the Papua New Guinea Tertiary Health Services Projects (2002-2010). He was external examiner in Surgery at the Fiji School of Medicine from 1999-2001 and 2009-2011. He has also, for short periods, been resident surgeon in Dili, East Timor.