Contact

+61 3 9249 1200

college.sec@surgeons.org

Website https://www.surgeons.org/
Location 250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia | Level 3, 8 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington 6011 New Zealand
College Description The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is accredited by the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) and the Australian Medical Council (AMC) to train surgeons and maintain surgical standards in New Zealand and Australia. RACS conducts selection, training and assessment to ensure that surgical trainees become competent surgeons who provide safe, comprehensive surgical care of the highest standard to the communities we serve.
Fellowship Name Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
Indigenous entry pathway Yes

General Information for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander & Māori Trainees / Registrars

Program description

Surgical training involves a progression in levels of competency from being a doctor with at least three years of postgraduate experience to becoming a practising specialist.

To become a surgeon, a doctor must first complete a medical degree and gain general medical registration in Australia or New Zealand. This usually involves one to two years working and training in a clinical setting, usually in a hospital. The earliest point at which they may apply to enter the RACS Surgical Education and Training (SET) program is during the third postgraduate year (PGY3) after university, when internship has been completed.

If a doctor’s application to enter SET is successful, they will train in one of the nine surgical specialties under the auspices of RACS. This training occurs primarily in public hospitals and usually takes between four and seven years, depending on the specialty.

Specialty training boards allocate Trainees to accredited training posts for their clinical placements. The specialty boards monitor the quality and outcomes of training in each post through regular hospital accreditation processes and through information from Trainees’ logbooks. Hospitals also have supervisors to monitor Trainee progress.

Upon successful completion of SET they then can become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and will be accredited to practise independently as a consultant surgeon.

The Guide to SET booklet (PDF 642KB) provides greater detail about the RACS SET program – an essential reference for all SET applicants and Trainees and can be found here.

 

Entry Requirements

Requirements and timelines can change from year to year and potential applicants should refer to current information published via the RACS website and the relevant Specialist Society websites.

Selection into SET is a competitive process that occurs annually in stages:

  • Stage 1             Selection Registration
  • Stage 2             Selection Application
  • Stage 4             Referee Reports Collected
  • Stage 5             Semi-Structured Interviews
  • Stage 6             Announcement of Offers

Online Registration Form

Doctors must register online via the RACS website if they wish to apply for SET Selection. No registrations will be accepted after the closing date.  The Online Registration Form is designed to capture information and evidence of a doctor’s generic eligibility requirements to apply for Selection.

Eligibility Requirements

Any person wishing to register for selection into the SET training program of one (or more) of the surgical specialties must fulfil all generic eligibility criteria at the time of registration, whilst being prepared to meet the eligibility criteria for the specific specialty (or specialties) during the next stage of selection.

The generic eligibility requirements that apply across all nine specialties are:

  • To have permanent residency or citizenship of Australia or New Zealand at the time of registration.
  • To have general (unconditional) registration in Australia or general scope or restricted general scope registration in the relevant specialty in New Zealand. Doctors with restricted general scope registration can only apply for training in the specialty to which they are restricted.
  • To have successfully completed the RACS specified Hand Hygiene Learning Module from Hand Hygiene Australia since 1 January 2013.
  • To complete the RACS Operating with Respect eModule.
  • A pass in the Generic Surgical Science Examination

Further details on the nine competencies and training standards are available on the RACS website.

 

Indigenous Entry Pathways Description

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Individual Specialty Training Boards may implement a selection initiative to expand opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to enter training. Board regulations may, in compliance with this policy, provide for setting aside posts for this initiative for applicants who in the registration process identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and meet the eligibility requirements for membership of Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA).

To be eligible to be appointed to the Initiative posts eligible applicants must meet the minimum standards for appointment as defined by the Specialty Training Board.

Recognising that some specialties have a small number of vacancies the number of initiative posts set aside should be the greater of either:

  1. 10% of the total vacant posts identified for the first round of appointments in the specialty, or;
  2. 1 post.

Where there are more applicants eligible for an initiative post than posts available those applicants shall be ranked against each other based on their selection score.

Initiative posts unfilled under this special measure will be returned to the general pool and shall be offered to applicants who are eligible for appointment and according to the ranking.

The approach in New Zealand / Aotearoa has followed a different path.

  • Supporting Māori doctors interested in a surgical career to undertake activities that will achieve selection points in their structured CV.
  • Linking interested Māori doctors with appropriate mentors.
  • Working with specialty training boards to give ‘credit’ for cultural knowledge and activities recorded in applicants’ CVs; and to include appropriate questions in their selection interviews to elicit cultural knowledge.

 

Key Dates

Requirements and timelines can change from year to year and potential applicants should  refer to current information published via the RACS website and the relevant Specialist Society websites.

For more information visit the RACS website.

 

Placement Requirements

The relevant Specialty Board allocates SET trainees to an accredited hospital training position, which aligns with their training needs. The duration of the SET program varies between specialties but is generally between four and seven years. Advancement is dependent on satisfactory progress. While every effort is made to match trainees to their preferred region, SET Trainees must be prepared to be assigned to a unit outside of their home region or country (as applicable). In some specialties training can be fully in either Australia or New Zealand / Aotearoa. In others, trainees may need to move between countries.

The number of new trainees appointed each year for a particular specialty is dependent upon the number of available accredited hospital posts and the number of trainees who meet the minimum selection standard.

 

Assessment and Completion

RACS mission is to provide safe, comprehensive surgical care of the highest standard to the communities we serve. In order to meet these training standards, the aim of RACS training and development programs is to certify specialist surgeons with the following nine competencies.

  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Health advocacy
  • Judgement – Clinical Decision Making
  • Management and leadership
  • Medical expertise
  • Professionalism and Ethics
  • Scholarship and Teacher
  • Technical expertise

Surgical trainees are assessed during SET through a combination of work-based assessments and examinations. Work-based assessments include Mid Term and End of Term reports, Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS) reports, Mini Clinical Examination (Mini-CEX) reports and logbooks.

It should be noted that individual SET Programs may have additional assessment tools and requirements that are specialty-specific, which are listed on the RACS and/or Specialty Program website.

Further details on the nine competencies and training standards are available on the RACS website.

 

Enrolment and Training Fees

Please see the RACS website for information.

 

Other information

JDocs:

RACS has developed the JDocs Framework, as a guide, which describes the many tasks, skills and behaviours that should be achieved by doctors at defined early postgraduate year levels and will assist in their development towards a career in surgery and other proceduralist careers. The Framework is supported by the JDocs ePortfolio where doctors can access library resources, eLearning modules, practice Generic Surgical Science Examination (GSSE) questions, an online surgical skills logbook (MALT) and functionality to progressively document their medical career in readiness for application to advanced specialty training.

Essential Surgical Skills:

RACS has produced a Guide to Essential Surgical Skills recommending surgical skills to achieve by the end of PGY2. This guide will be useful for:

  • Medical students and pre-vocational doctors – to build a portfolio in preparation for application to surgical training
  • Hospital supervisors – to assist in providing relevant clinical experiences for residents intending to apply for SET
  • Educators – to assist in developing learning resources relevant to SET

Visit JDocs for further information.

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons SimuSurg App

Access an engaging, fun and interactive way to perform surgical skills in a gaming environment. Download the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons SimuSurg App. Available in the App Store or on Google Play.

 

Support for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander & Māori Members

Indigenous Mentoring Programs, networks, support programs etc

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Action Plan 2014-2016 (PDF 1.5MB)  seeks to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surgeons to help Close the Gap in indigenous disadvantage in Australia. It also aims to enhance recognition and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, promote excellence of care, and improve understanding of culturally appropriate treatment through education and advocacy.

RACS’ RAP embodies RACS commitment to addressing inequities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and outlines a number of strategies to achieve this.

  • Relationships – Improve and extend our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations to enable us to better equip the surgical workforce to meet the needs of all Australian communities;
  • Respect – Engender respect and enhance cultural competency amongst the surgical workforce;
  • Opportunities – Promote an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows, Trainees and staff by creating an organisational culture that values and encourages opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Māori Health

RACS recognises that Māori people are over-represented in the poor determinants of health. While the Treaty of Waitangi enshrined the rights of Indigenous New Zealanders in 1840, there have nevertheless been cultural, social and economic barriers to advancements in Māori health. The RACS Māori Health Action Plan 2016-18 (PDF 275KB) (currently being updated) outlines a range of strategies to:

  • increase the Māori surgical workforce;
  • improve the cultural competence of our current workforce, and
  • advocate for equity of health outcomes for all the people of New Zealand.

 

College Scholarships

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander:

RACS and the Foundation for Surgery fund a number of scholarships and awards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students, junior doctors, SET Trainees and Fellows including:

  • Career Enhancement Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and junior doctors
  • Foundation for Surgery Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ASC Award – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander final year medical students and doctors with an interest in surgery to attend the College’s Annual Scientific Congress (ASC)
  • SET Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island SET Trainees
  • RACS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Medal – An award to acknowledge significant contributions by Fellows to Indigenous health advocacy and health outcomes in Australia.

See the link for more information.

 

Māori:

RACS and the Foundation for Surgery fund a number of scholarships and awards for Māori medical students, junior doctors, SET Trainees and Fellows:

  • RACS Career Enhancement Scholarships for Māori medical students and junior doctors;
  • Foundation for Surgery ASC Award – for Māori final year medical students and doctors with an interest in surgery, to attend the College’s Annual Scientific Congress (ASC);
  • Scholarships for Māori SET Trainees
  • RACS Māori Health Medal – An award to acknowledge significant contributions by Fellows to indigenous health advocacy and health outcomes in New Zealand.

For more information visit the link.

Download the Indigenous scholarships brochure (PDF 5.4MB) and/or find out more at the links below.

 

Financial Assistance

n/a

 

Contacts for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander & Māori Members

Indigenous Fellow/Specialist

n/a

 

Indigenous Trainees College Contact

Australia:       

Damien Loizou – Senior Project Officer RACS Indigenous Health Unit

E: damien.loizou@surgeons.org

T: +61 3 9249 1115

New Zealand: 

Chelsea Jacobs-Prescott – Maori Health Project Officer

E: Chelsea.Jacobs-Prescott@surgeons.org

T: +64 4 385 8247 

 

General College Contact

Australia: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, College of Surgeons’ Gardens, 250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia

https://www.surgeons.org/

Email: college.sec@surgeons.org

Telephone: +61 3 9249 1200

New Zealand: Level 3, 8 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington 6011 New Zealand

Telephone: +64 4 385 8247

Fax: +64 4 385 8873

Email: college.nz@surgeons.org