His clinical practice has centred on oral/head and neck
cancer surgery and the minimally invasive management of
salivary gland disease (obstructive salivary gland
disorders, tumours, stones, ranulae, strictures) He is dedicated to the advancement of minimally invasive surgery for the
head and neck, focusing on salivary gland disease and mouth cancer.
has focused on early diagnosis of head and neck cancer,
factors leading to complications of surgery and the
introduction of minimal surgery to the treatment of head and
He has written
influential books on salivary disease and has published extensively
with 200+ original articles in peer-reviewed journals; five
major textbooks on cancer and salivary gland disease and
has contributed to eight major academic textbooks.
He was awarded BMA
Medical Book Of The Year Award 2013.
His work has led to the development of
a range of less traumatic surgical procedures for the head, neck and mouth, allowing smaller, less traumatic operations
to be performed where more radical surgery was often the normal practice.
This work culminated in a European trial on sentinel node biopsy
which he leads. This has led to a 75% reduction in neck dissection for early
pioneered a new way to treat odontogenic tumours (ameloblastoma) which preserves the mandible
and maintains normal facial appearance.
Prof McGurk chaired the High
Claims committee for The Medical Protection Society.
McGurk lectures widely at national and international
conferences and runs annual surgical
master classes on salivary gland
surgery in London, Paris and Erlangen for maxillofacial and
ENT consultants. Most recently (2017) he is leading a
national training program at University College London
Hospital to introduce
Sentinel Node Biopsy to the UK.
He is past president of the
British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and
past editor of the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial
Surgery. He examines at the Royal College of Surgeons of
Ireland, and is consultant at
University College London Hospital
King Edward VII's Hospital
London Bridge Hospital.
undertook his undergraduate BDS degree at Sheffield
University in 1976. This was followed by 3 years of junior
surgical posts in oral and maxillofacial followed by a six
month period visiting maxillofacial units in the United
States. He returned to Sheffield to complete a medical
degree in 1984. He held a lecturer post at Manchester
University and was awarded a DLO and an MD during this
period. He was appointed consultant oral and maxillofacial
surgeon to Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham in 1991, and
in 1992 professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at
King's College London, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals