Professor Stephen McDonald

Professor Stephen McDonald
 Position Clinical Professor
 Org Unit Public Health
 Telephone +61 8 8222 0900
 Location Floor/Room 9 ,  RAH - East Wing ,   Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Biography/ Background

    Based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Stephen McDonald is Director of Dialysis and a Senior Staff Nephrologist at The Central Northern Renal and Transplantation Service (based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital), and Clinical Director of Renal Services for the Country Health region of SA Health. He is Executive Officer of the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry, and holds academic status as Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine of the University of Adelaide, and Principal Research Fellow in the SA Health and Medical Research Institute.

     Following clinical training in nephrology at various hospitals in Adelaide, he moved to the world of epidemiological research at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin in 1998. There he examined relationships between early kidney and cardiovascular disease and markers of inflammation and nutrition among remote Aboriginal communities. He also spent time as a general physician to a number of remote Aboriginal communities. Later he returned to Adelaide to a post-doctoral position in the ANZDATA Registry, and ultimately staff nephrologist post with the Dept of Nephrology & Transplantation Service at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and more recently in the amalgamated Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Service at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He retains a substantial interest in non-metropolitan renal services in his role as Clinical Director for Renal Services for County Health SA; he also provides the renal transplant assessment service in Alice Springs and Darwin. As a clinician, his practice includes care for in- and out-patients with all types of kidney disease including acute and chronic kidney disease, people receiving all forms of dialysis and those with kidney transplants.

  • Qualifications

    MBBS (Hons), University of Adelaide, 1991

    FRACP, 1997

    PhD, Flinders University of SA, 2004

    Thesis title: “Renal disease, cardiovascular disease and shared risk factors in remote Aboriginal communities”


  • Teaching Interests

    Teaching interests are focussed at a research level on supervision of PhD students, and at a clinical level on 4-6th year medicla students during their attachement sto the nephrology service. He has supervised an number of PhD students in the area of epidemiological studies, mainly based around end-stage kidey disease incidene and outcomes. He currently supervises two PhD and one Masters student.

    He was a member of the National Examiners' Panel for the RACP Clinical Examination for a number of years, and subsequently joined the Senior Examiners' Panel in 2011. He has ongoing involvement  in teaching advanced clinical skills to physician trainees sitting this examination. He speaks regularly to general practitioner groups about kidney disease, and is involved in both the formal teaching and informal supervision (in the clinical environment) of undergraduate students.

  • Research Interests

    Research interests: 

    ANZDATA and ANZOD Registries.

     ANZDATA – Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplantation Registry . This is a registry which is responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information about treatment for end-stage kidney disease for Australia and New Zealand.

    The ANZOD  Registry collects information about deceased solid organ donors in Australia and New Zealand

    Both of these Registries are based at the SA Health and Medical Reseach Institute. Prof Stephen McDonald is the Executive Officer, and Kylie Hurst the Registry Manager. Core funding is provided by the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority , the New Zealand Ministry of Health and Kidney Health Australia.

    These Registries fulfil a number of roles:

    1)      As the major source of data about incidence and treatment patterns of end-stage kidney disease, dialysis and transplantation they have a substantial input into health service planning at a jurisdictional level


    2)      They provide an extensive network of quality-assurance reports / data to individual units about a range of processes and outcomes in dialysis and transplantation


    3)      They provide the database and epidemiological / statistical expertise behind a wide network of research studies based on the Registry, involving local, interstate and international collaborations.


    There have been several successful PhD theses written in part or in full based upon these databases, together with a number of lesser degrees and projects.

     Indigenous renal disease

    Rates of chronic kidney disease among Aboriginal Australians are many times higher than those of non-indigenous Australians. The epidemiology of this problem and associated treatments are a major focus, particularly with respect to end-stage kidney disease.

    Beat CKD

    Prof McDonald leads the Adelaide arm of th Beat-CKD collaboration ( This collaboration links the national end-stage kidney disease Registry (ANZDATA) with the Australasian Kidney Trials Network, the renal Cochrane group and the CARI guidelines network. Particular areas of focus of the Adelaide group include the Registry based trials; the used of patient-reported outcomes in Registry analyses; data linkage in a variety of settings and methodological development.

  • Publications

    Prof Mcdonald has over 150 peer-reviewed publications in a wide variety of journals. For details, see attached list.

  • Professional Associations

    Prof McDonald is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian Society of Physicians.

    He is a member of

    • Australia & New Zealand Society of Nephrology
    • Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand
    • American Society of Nephrology
    • Interntional Society of Nephrology
    • The Transplantation Society
    • International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis
    • Australasian Epidemiological Association


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Entry last updated: Sunday, 7 Jan 2018

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