Charles “Charlie” Teo AM (born 24 December 1957) is a Australian neurosurgeon.

Teo was born to Chinese-Singaporean parents who immigrated to Australia.

He attended The Scots College and the University of New South Wales, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1981.

Charlie Teo trained in Sydney but worked for a decade in the United States, where he still teaches. His sub-speciality is paediatric neurosurgery. He is the director of the Centre for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery at Prince of Wales Hospital and the founder of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (formerly Cure For Life Foundation).

Teo has received much media attention as something of a miracle worker, but some neurosurgeons have criticised him as being too radical, offering “false hope” to patients who are believed to have an incurable brain cancer or a brain tumour that is dangerously located.

Teo has resigned from the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia and argues that delaying the death of patients with an incurable brain cancer is worthwhile if it is their wish and that patients who seek his surgery are determined to live with a quality of life, despite being informed the surgery itself carries a sometimes considerable risk.

A story about Teo and one of his patients, the young pianist Aaron McMillan, is detailed in the book Life in his Hands by Susan Wyndham.

A patient of Charlie Teo's, Sally White, has written of her experiences in Three Quotes From A Plumber: How a Second Opinion Changed the Life of a Woman with a Brain Tumour.

Teo has also been featured in several TV programs including the ABC's Q&A, Good Medicine, 60 Minutes, Last Chance Surgery, Australian Story and Enough Rope.

Teo gave the 50th Anniversary Errol Solomon Meyers Memorial Lecture at the University of Queensland in August 2007.

Teo gave the 2012 Australia Day speech on 23 January 2012.

He is married to Genevieve Teo (née Agnew); the couple have four daughters.

Since 2009, Teo and his wife have been council members for Australian animal welfare group Voiceless, the animal protection institute. “Doctors may not have direct responsibility for the injustices of modern agriculture but we do have the power to help overcome them. We hold a privileged role in society; we are trusted as scientific minds and reliable carers. Our communities will listen when we explain the illness and suffering that lies hidden behind the closed doors of factory farms”.

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  • Last modified: 2015/04/21 08:03
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