Dr Catherine Birman


Clinical Professor Catherine Birman is an ENT surgeon specializing in adult and paediatric cochlear implants, otology and paediatric ENT.  She is the Medical Director of the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, the largest cochlear implant program in Australia and one of the largest programs in the world, working with over 15 surgeons and an extensive team including audiologists, speech pathologists, teachers of the deaf, and biomedical engineers to optimize cochlear implant outcomes for patients.  She has extensive experience in paediatric and adult cochlear implants, having performed over 1500 cochlear implant procedures.


In 2017 A/Professor Birman was awarded the NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year Award for her work with cochlear implants.  In 2018 she received the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (ASOHNS) Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the Art and Science of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery.


Clinical Professor Birman has published and presented extensively on cochlear implant outcomes, including: specific cohorts such as more complex paediatric case, anatomical abnormalities, and in the elderly; innovative cochlear implant devices; and bone conduction implantable hearing devices.  Prof Birman's research has involved a number of grants, including NHMRC and clinical trials including sponsored trials of of novel implantable hearing devices 


Clinical Professor Birman has worked for over 20 years at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, a tertiary/ quaternary paediatric hospital in Sydney as an otologists and cochlear implant specialist, involved in a number of clinics including, hearing loss, cochlear implant and atresia clinics, and a multidisciplinary primary ciliary dyskinesia clinic.  She also serves on the faculty as a Visiting Medical Officer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Macquarie University Hospital, Sydney Adventist Hospital and Hornsby Hospital.


Clinical Professor Birman is a Director on the board of the Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children, a charity which celebrates 160 years in 2020, supporting those with hearing or vision impairment.  She is a Honorary Clinical Professor at Macquarie University, a Clinical Professor at Sydney University, and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  She has been a past NSW chair of ASOHNS and has served on a number of hospital and NSW Health government committees.

Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
Areas of Practice
  • Children
  • Research
  • Otology
Professional Associations
  • Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
  • Australian New Zealand Society of Paediatric Otolaryngology
  • American Cochlear Implant Association
  • Womens College Alumni (Sydney University)
  • Australian Medical Association
  • European Society of Paediatric Otolaryngology
Professional Qualifications
  • MBBS (Sydney University)
  • PhD (Sydney University)
Photo of Surgeon
Consulting Rooms & Hospitals
Building 39 Old Gladesville Hospital via Punt RoadSydney Cochlear Implant Centre, Gladesville, , 2111, AustraliaP: 02 9844 6801E: [email protected]