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Surgeon

A highly specialised and skilled profession involving the treatment and repair of injuries and diseases.

What's it like to be a Surgeon?

Surgeons treat, repair and resolve injuries, diseases and abnormalities by operating on patients using a range of equipment, instruments and methods.

Surgeon

Tasks and duties

  • Consulting and examining patients to learn about their medical history, current condition, allergies and medical challenges in order to determine the need for surgery and decide on an appropriate procedure.
  • Operating on patients to treat disease, injury and deformities using specialised instruments and equipment, while overseeing the operating room, staff and equipment.
  • Recommending appropriate post-operative care, following up with the patient and their family and completing medical records.
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Surgery is a highly specialised and demanding field of medicine, and surgeons must be able to work well under pressure, have excellent communication skills and a high level of compassion.

Surgeons can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community health settings, in a group or private practice.

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How to become a Surgeon


SEEK Learning
To work as a Surgeon in Australia, a medical degree is required, in addition to postgraduate study and membership of the appropriate professional college. Surgical training usually takes five to six years once you have completed your medical degree.

  1. Complete an accredited medical degree at a university. After university, work and train in a clinical setting (usually a hospital) for two to three years.
  2. During your third ‘postgraduate’ year (called PGY3) apply to enter the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Surgical Education and Training (SET) program to train in one of nine surgical specialities. This training usually occurs in public hospitals and normally takes five or six years. Once you have completed SET, you can become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and will be accredited to practise independently as a surgeon.
  3. Surgery specialisations include brain surgeon, cardiovascular surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon and plastic surgeon.

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