Dr Raoul Pope

MBChB (Hons I, Otago), FRACS (Neurosurgery)

Specialist Neurosurgeon & Spine Surgeon

Dr Raoul Pope is a Specialist Neurosurgeon and Spine Surgeon based in Sydney, with 20+ years of experience.

Dr Pope is the Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at The Mater Private Hospital in North Sydney. He is the Neurosurgical Supervisor of Junior Medical Officer Training at Concord Public Hospital and an Adjunct Clinical Senior Lecturer at the School of Medicine of the University of Notre Dame, Sydney.

Dr Pope is a New Zealand born and educated doctor who graduated from the University of Otago Medical School in 1996 with First Class Honours, with Distinction. He then completed 2-years of general Resident Medical Officer (RMO) duties at Christchurch Hospital before heading to Australia, where he undertook rural emergency and intensive care tenures in various NSW public hospitals, gaining exposure to a wide range of emergency and trauma presentations.

Dr Pope was then accepted into the competitive Accredited Neurosurgical Training Scheme (approximately 5-10 doctors accepted annually from across Australia and New Zealand combined), and through the guidance and mentorship of some of Australia’s most experienced Neurosurgeons, learnt the art and science of the revered specialty while working as a neurosurgical registrar in-training at Sydney’s busiest public hospitals.

After completing neurosurgical training and being awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), Dr Pope commenced working as a Consultant Neurosurgeon at Concord Repatriation Public Hospital. To further hone his skills in his area of interest, Dr Pope embarked on an additional 1-year of dedicated, sub-specialised training as a Fellow in Advanced Spinal Surgery at the internationally acclaimed Foothills Medical Center at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, where he worked with a team of Fellows from around the world, mentored by both Neurosurgical and Orthopaedic world leaders in spinal surgery.

This dedicated position provided enhanced training in spinal surgery under the mentorship of experienced, high-volume surgeons at a recognised international centre of excellence.

Dr Pope then returned to Sydney and continued in his role as a VMO at Concord Public Hospital, where he provided services to public and privately insured patients.

He now operates privately at The Mater Private Hospital in North Sydney where his main rooms are located. He also consults at the Sydney Spine Institute in Burwood. He welcomes Telehealth consultations for those unable to attend physically, and consults with patients from across NSW, Australia and Internationally.

Dr Pope has been thoroughly trained in many aspects of adult cranial and spinal neurosurgery. He has a particular interest and skill set in degenerative spine conditions and minimally invasive surgical techniques, and has narrowed his scope of clinical practice down to only a select number of procedures, in order to develop a high degree of mastery through high-volume repetition.

He is extremely specialised in degenerative anterior cervical spine procedures, minimally invasive lumbar spine decompression procedures and posterior minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedures.

Dr Pope has a strong reputation assessing patients and providing a comprehensive surgical opinion. He will carefully evaluate if a surgical procedure can benefit a patient and enable optimal outcomes. He has an unwavering commitment to do what is in the patient’s best interest and offer alternative treatment if surgery is not urgently required. Sometimes surgery is the first and best option to minimise harm and maximise benefit, such as situations where an intervention might speed up or improve your quality of life.

Dr Pope will treat the patient’s symptoms and physical signs, and not just your scan results. He knows the difference between a good and great surgeon is that the great surgeon knows when NOT to operate.

Dr Pope remains informed on emerging techniques and procedures in spine surgery, but will only adopt techniques if he feels they will significantly improve outcomes and are researched well. He will not jump into trends and fads, as he is measured in his evaluation.

Dr Pope will advocate strongly for patients, whether they be Medicare, privately insured, DVA, CTP or WorkCover, and will work tirelessly to provide as much benefit to a patient that they are entitled to under their health policies.

Dr Pope does not work for any insurance companies.

Dr Pope strongly believes that you, as a patient, are the most important person in his clinic when you walk through the door, and he sees it as a privilege to share his expertise with you.

Special Interests

  • Minimally invasive spinal surgery (“keyhole surgery”) of the neck (cervical) and back (thoracic / lumbar)
  • Spinal tumours
  • Best-practice, comprehensive, multidisciplinary care and rehabilitation (team based approach involving specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapy, exercise physiology, pain medicine physician)

Key Operations Performed

Cervical Spine (Neck):
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)
  • Cervical Laminoplasty / Laminectomy / Foraminotomy
Lumbar Spine (Lower Back):
  • Lumbar Microdiscectomy
  • Lumbar Laminoplasty / Laminectomy / Foraminotomy
  • Lumbar Decompression (Anterior & Posterior)
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)


Academic, Research & Professional Appointments

Registrar Training

Sub-Specialised Fellowship Training


Experience in Numbers

Awards & Career Achievements

Hospital Appointments

Consulting Locations

AHPRA Registration Number

RateMDs Profile


Personal Q&As

I chose Neurosurgery for its diversity in surgical anatomy. One could be operating on the brain via an elegant craniotomy to remove a benign meningioma at the vertex of the skull, then the next case could be a peripheral nerve tumour around the common peroneal nerve of the outside of the leg, then the next case could be a minimally invasive lumbar interbody fusion on the lower back and the final case could be an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) at the front of the neck. It’s so variable and the anatomy is never dull.

The amount of technology and amazing equipment you need to perform the surgeries is very exciting. The opportunity to utilise the resources is a privilege.

The potential difference a Neurosurgical procedure can make to a patient can literally be life changing, so the opportunity to change a person’s life for better is a feeling that cannot be described. You have to experience it to know.

I am in the company of few in my profession and I never take that for granted. I have been chosen to exercise my knowledge and skillset to provide a service that is exceptionally rare and highly skilled. I take that responsibility extremely seriously.

My favourite operation is a resection of a spinal meningioma. It is an elegant, interesting technical procedure with amazing anatomy exposure and often life-changing benefits for patients. I always feel super satisfied after completing these sorts of cases.

Dr Bernard Kwok, one of my earliest mentors at Prince of Wales Hospital, instilled some key learning steps for me. A sense of integrity and professionalism was paramount. He was the consummate professional and had a dry sense of humour that I enjoyed.

Technically, Dr Mark Davies at St George Hospital was a substantial contributing influence on my surgical skills. His unwavering commitment to his craft is superhuman.

A case sticks with me to remind me of the value of good training. In my Fellowship year performing hundreds of procedures in a high-volume quaternary referral hospital in Alberta, Canada, I learnt a radical technique for a cervical spine procedure that enhanced post-operative pain and reduced the chance of long-term postural deformity. Soon when I returned to Sydney, I had the opportunity to perform that surgery for a C1/2 spinal tumour and the patient was able to return home overseas a few days later and lead a normal high-quality life for the next 15 years. Without that new technique, that patient may not have had such good fortune.

I always believe in investing in quality. I have invested strongly in my knowledge and skills.

I always believe in quadrupling down on your strengths and letting go of your weaknesses. Enabling the services of others who are leaders in their field is paramount to patient care and I have no hesitation in acknowledging others who are far better than myself at a procedure or scope of practice.

I like to ask myself the question: “Imagine if it was my family member”. Then you do what is best for that patient.

  • Urban walks
  • Photography

Dr Raoul Pope is a highly experienced neurosurgeon and sub-specialised spine surgeon with 20+ years of experience. He consults and operates across Sydney.

Dr Pope completed a dedicated, international training fellowship in complex neurosurgical and orthopaedic spine surgery at a recognised, high-volume centre of excellence in Canada.

He offers telehealth consultations and welcomes both private and public patients.