Suite 218 – 1011 Glenmore Trail, Calgary, AB, T2V 4R6

Tel: 1-403-692-0440 Fax: 1-403-692-0442

Dr. Magnus Murphy

Magnus photo

Dr. Murphy specializes in providing professional, comprehensive and courteous care for pelvic floor disorders, particularly incontinence, prolapse, childbirth injuries and related changes and age related changes for instance dryness, pain associated with intercourse and other causes of pain. He has focussed exclusively on pelvic floor disorders since 2001 and has become internationally recognized in this subspecialty. He has published two highly acclaimed books and have been asked to give talks and demonstration surgery across the world.

Dr. Murphy's clinic now also offers a wide range of gynecological and non-gynecological cosmetic laser and associated procedures to boost the results of laser treatment. Please look under the 'services' menu.  The clinic has invested in state of the art laser equipment to provide minimally invasive, safe and effective non-surgical options for these problems and needs. Because Dr. Murphy is a urogynecological subspecialist, he has the experience required to determine what treatment is required and to do it properly. If you become a patient of ours, Dr. Murphy can 'walk the walk' with you until there is a resolution.

In this era of heightened concern regarding potential complications of some of the more invasive treatments on offer for pelvic floor disorders (I'm referring here to the concerns regarding procedures involving mesh); women are demanding less risky treatment options. These are now available and by browsing the large amount of information on this website, you will surely find something that is right for you.

Dr. Magnus Murphy MD

(Why I became a gynaecologist - read below)

As a respected leader and mentor in the field of urogynecology, Dr. Murphy engages with his patients to identify, educate and provide treatment options to successfully treat pelvic floor conditions.

His extensive experience performing reconstructive vaginal surgeries and unique understanding of pelvic floor disorders means patients can trust their pelvic health to a professional who is supported by a kind and thoughtful team of nurses and professionals. With one-on-one consultations, education, and various treatment options available, from pelvic floor physiotherapy to non-invasive, non-surgical laser treatment options, Dr. Murphy empowers woman to take control and take care of their pelvic health.

Dr. Murphy is a frequent invited speaker and faculty member at  National and International meetings of Urogynecological Societies and Associations, including the International Urogynecological Association.

Education & Training

Dr. Murphy is past President of the Alberta Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Alberta Medical Association Section of Obstetricians and Gynecologist. As a previous Chief of Urogynecology and Pelvic Floor Disorders Division for the Calgary Regional Health Authority and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he is an expert in the field of urogynecology and pelvic floor disorders.

He received his undergraduate medical degree from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1987. After a year working in Namibia as an intern and two years of obligatory military duty, he did his residency at the University of Stellenbosch. He obtained his masters degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1994. In the same year, he obtained Fellowship of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

He obtained his Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Fellowship in 1995. He is a Fellow of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, founding Chairman of the Western Society of Pelvic Medicine and a member of the International Urogynecological Association and American Urogynecologic Society. Prior to moving to Calgary, Alberta Dr. Murphy actively practiced in British Columbia for seven years.

Why I became a gynecologist:

In Canada medical students are forced to choose a residency (specialty training) early on. In many cases students have no idea what they are in for, and many end up in specialties they are ill suited for, or find they have no real love or interest for. In contrast, in South Africa young qualified doctors have to practice general medicine for a minimum of two years before they could even think of applying for a residency.  My story is completely different to the average Canadian specialist's. My path was much more convoluted and I think it is an interesting story - but you decide:

I grew up in South Africa, and received almost all my formal education there (I later also did some studies in Belgium). I grew up during the apartheid years, and graduated from my residency just when South Africa became a 'normal' democratic country with universal suffrage.

What few non-South Africans know, is that South Africa had its own 'Vietnam'. If you're interested you can google 'Angolan bush war', or 'South Africa's border war'.  This war lasted from 1966 till 1990 and I was, like all white males over 16 years of age during this time, ensnared in it. At its height, this war involved up to fifty thousand Cuban troops, hundreds of thousands of Angolan communist soldiers and hundreds of Russian officers and commanders. Against them were every white South African boy and young man, as well as thousands of volunteer black South African soldiers. Many South African families lost young male members. I lost my cousin, who was very close to me.

All white boys were conscripted for a minimum of two years military service at their 16th birthday but could request postponement for army service if they were still in High School, or if in certain (not all), university programs. Medicine was one of the programs that qualified for postponement, or rather deferral, since the army needed doctors. SO, I was conscripted after I finished my seven years of medical training and had become a 'medical doctor'. The medical school system in South Africa was, and still is, more like that of Great Britain than the system in North America.

Anyway, after I finished my medical training I had six months to kill before I would have had to start my army training, so since I did very well in my OBGYN rotation in medical school, and had enjoyed it, I applied for a 'medical officer' job at the OBGYN department of my alma mater, and got it. During that six months, I did only obstetrics, and by the end of it had performed - independently - sixty cesarean sections, untold vaginal deliveries and numerous other procedures. Remember - I was not a resident (specialist in training) - just an ordinary, recently qualified general physician.

Then, before I knew, I was in the army and basic training and then officers training commenced. After I graduated I was posted to a variety of army and navy bases where I treated coughs, colds and snot noses for the most part.

One day however (I knew it was coming), I got the orders we all dreaded: I was being deployed to the active operational area in either northern Namibia (then Southwest Africa), or Angola for at least six month. I ended up being flown under cover of darkness and at treetop height to evade RPG rockets into Opuwo, close to the border of Northwestern Namibia and Angola, in Kaokoland. With me were two other SADF (South African Defense Force) officers – one other doctor my age, and a pharmacist. Between the three of us, we were going to run a hospital that served the indigenous population of the entire Norhwestern Namibia, a large part of Angola, as well as war casualties in emergencies. To say we were thrown into the deep end makes a mockery of the term ‘understatement’…

The very day we arrived, we were immediately faced with a significant incident that set the tone of the rest of our stay, and might very well have saved our lives, as it turned out. We had hardly unpacked our few pieces of clothes and locked up our M5 rifles, when the head matron of the hospital, a local Herero woman, brought her 13 year old daughter to see us. After we examined the clearly ill young girl, we made the provisional diagnosis of acute appendicitis. We had no ultrasound, no CT scan, no MRI. Just our hands, thermometer, stethoscopes and training. She rapidly deteriorated and it was soon clear to us that she required surgery. The problem was there was no getting her out of there to a bigger center (the capital – Windhoek) where there were specialists. The roads were mined, planes were being shot at. We were on our own.

Us two doctors had a decision to make: Who is going to be surgeon, and who anaesthetist? Remember, I had done some caesarean sections. He had done more anaesthetics. It was settled. For the next six months I was the surgeon and he the anaesthetist. I took my first appendix out that night and my reputation was made. The girl recovered rapidly.

Our next problem was to decide how to divide the workload. Unlike Canadian hospitals currently (I still cannot get used to this to be honest!), South African hospitals were strictly separated by sexes. So – we chose. I usually tell the story saying that we flipped a coin. I really cannot remember what we did, but I ended up with the female ward under my care. For the six months we were there I looked after every female patient that came to the hospital (patients sometimes walked for a week to get to us – and then only if they avoided the landmines). I delivered babies, did emergency surgery (also on men, but mostly women), and took care of all the female malaria and tropical diseases patients as well as all other problems that walked through our doors (I remember one patient distinctly; she was a 21 year old woman who was bitten by a puffadder - very poisonous snake - on the forehead. We could not get her out of there for days and given the fact that a puffadder's poison is cytotoxic, we spent hours picking through dying flesh and trying to save as much of her face as we could).

The war ended while we were there. My main claim to fame during this time was that the three of us were the VERY last SADF officers to leave the operational zone. And that because the SADF forgot about us. Indeed, the SADF pulled back, forgot us up there and before we knew, the town was overrun with Cubans, Angolans and Russians. This is where I believe our lives were saved by the local hospital nurses, who negotiated with the Russian commander to allow the SADF to evacuate us one dark night with a helicopter. While we were anxiously waiting for this and not leaving the hospital, we could see the ‘enemy’ looking at us through the windows; three young white guys in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I still count myself lucky. The eventual timing of our 'M*A*S*H' like departure was also just in time for our pharmacy colleague; he was very ill with malaria right then. (Older readers will remember the TV series 'M*A*S*H').

After my return to South Africa my next posting was to a missile test base in the Southern Cape. During this time South Africa was testing ballistic missiles. Test firings always occurred Wednesday mornings, after which I was free to do as I pleased (I had to be on base for the test in case it exploded and injured someone). I heard that my alma mater’s academic OBGYN department was incidentally holding their academic grand rounds and teaching sessions on Wednesday afternoons. This was a two and a half hour drive from the base, but I drove that for more than six months every Wednesday. The result was that I challenged the basic sciences National College of Medicine’s OBGYN residency examination that is written by all OBGYN residents from all medical schools in the country before I was even a resident. I was the first person to ever do so, and I passed with the highest marks in the country. The certificate and medal I received is hanging on my office wall in Calgary. This led to me eventually becoming an OBGYN resident - and - well, here I am; three decades later: still a gynaecologist, and still caring for female patients.

But why pelvic floor medicine and reconstructive surgery?

I’ll write that story on another day soon. Please check back….
(I do describe this journey in some detail in my introductory chapter of my 2012 book 'Choosing Cesarean'. See under 'publications')

Magnus Murphy