Roger Woodruff graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne. As a post-graduate he specialized in clinical haematology and medical oncology and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP). He was awarded a Clinical Research Fellowship of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia that enabled him to continue his studies for two years at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Department of Medical Oncology at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.
After returning to Australia, he became increasingly interested and involved in the field of palliative care and helped establish and develop the Austin Hospital Palliative Care Service as well as the regional community-based Mid-Eastern Palliative Care Service in suburban Melbourne. He served as Director of Palliative Care at Austin Health, a major teaching hospital of the University of Melbourne, from 1996 to 2007. Since retiring from Austin Health and the University of Melbourne, he continued to work part time as a consultant physician in private practice in the fields of medical oncology, clinical haematology and palliative medicine.
As a member of the national executive of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA), he convened the first interdisciplinary meeting on palliative care to be held in Australia, ‘Palliative Care for the 1990s’, which was held in Canberra in 1989 and very well attended. He was a member of the committee that established the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM), and was the founding Chairman of the Palliative Care Group of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA). He was admitted to foundation fellowship of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine (FAChPM), and served as a member of the Specialist Advisory Committee for Training in Palliative Medicine of the RACP.
The fourth edition of his textbook, ‘Palliative Medicine’, was published by Oxford University Press in 2004. He has also wrote a number of other monographs including ‘Cancer Pain’, ‘Symptom Control in Advanced Cancer’ and ‘Pain and Symptom Control in AIDS’.
Dr. Woodruff was a member of the Board of Directors of the IAHPC since its inception and served as Chairman for three years, 1998-2000, following the retirement of Dr. Josefina Magno. In 2009 he was elected, along with Doctors William Farr and Derek Doyle, as IAHPC Lifetime Board Member in recognition of his service and dedication to the organization.
Together with Dr. Derek Doyle, he co-authored three editions of the ‘Manual of Palliative Care’ (available to download from the IAHPC website). He contributed regularly to the IAHPC Newsletter, writing a monthly selection of book reviews, including the popular ‘Palliative Care Book of the Month’ review.
Dr. Woodruff passed away peacefully on July 2021 in a palliative care unit surrounded by family members. He was proud of all the IAHPC was able to achieve during his lifetime dedication and work to the organization.