Tom was born and bred in Melbourne, obtaining his primary medical degree from Monash University. He undertook postgraduate studies in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, training at Mercy Hospital and Monash Medical Centre, before leaving for the UK, where he spent 4 more years training at Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton. Whilst in the UK he also undertook scientific research in the field of molecular genetics of a tumour suppressor gene in ovarian cancer. This work led to the award of a Doctorate of Medicine and resulted in a number of papers published in peer-reviewed journals.
After completion of his 6 years of specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he then undertook 4 more years of subspecialist training in Gynaecological Oncology. This comprised a year at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, and a year at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth. He completed his training at the prestigious James Cancer Center, part of the Ohio State University Medical Center in the USA, where he trained under world-renowned luminaries Larry Copeland, Jeff Fowler and David Cohn.
During the course of his training, he was awarded a number of prizes and awards for academic excellence, including the Fotheringham Fellowship in 1996 (awarded by the RACOG for the purpose of original research), which he won again in 1997 for a second consecutive year. In 1996 he was awarded the prize for best oral presentation at the British Gynecologic Cancer Society annual meeting. In 1997 he received both the Young Investigator of the Year Award for best oral presentation at the RACOG annual scientific meeting and also The Keith Free Memorial Prize for best presentation at the 1997 Australian Society of Gynaecological Oncologists (ASGO) meeting. In 2000 he received The Brown Craig Travelling Fellowship, awarded by the RANZCOG for the purpose of travel to the Ohio State Medical Center in the USA for postgraduate surgical training. In 2001 he received the Beresford Buttery Award for best free communication at the RANZCOG annual scientific meeting.
Since returning to Melbourne in 2001, he has continued his keen interest in academic medicine and has won further awards for scientific presentations. In 2011 he won the Karl Storz award for best oral presentation at the Australian Gynaecological Endoscopy Society (AGES) meeting, and in 2014 won the prize for outstanding video presentation at the AGES Annual Meeting. He has been involved in a number of clinical trials. He was a Principal Investigator for the LACE Trial, which was a landmark trial; one of very few randomised controlled surgical trials and continues to be widely quoted as an authoritative work. He has authored more than 25 articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals.
In 2001, he has taken up positions as a gynaecological oncologist at Monash Medical Centre. He also has an appointment at the Alfred Hospital. His private practice is based at Cabrini Hospital and also at Epworth Eastern Hospital.
Dr Manolitsas has been a leader in the Australian gynaecological community in the field of minimally invasive surgery. He has worked with Dr Tony McCartney to develop the techniques of Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (TLH), and was the first gynaecologist in Melbourne to undertake this procedure. He has since taught the technique to many trainees and colleagues. He was the first Australian gynaecologist to embrace robotic surgery, which has been a part of his surgical expertise since 2007, and at the time of writing had completed more than 500 cases. He has proctored more than 20 gynaecologists and other surgeons to ensure their safe take-up of robotic technology.
He is married to a very understanding wife (who is also a trained nurse) and has 3 active teenagers. When not working, he loves to travel with his family and keeps fit by early morning visits to the gym, and swimming.