Fundamental information about SET


Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.


The Surgical Education and Training (SET) program

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) to train surgeons and maintain surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand.

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.

The SET program is underpinned by nine RACS competencies:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Health advocacy
  • Judgement - clinical decision making
  • Management and leadership
  • Medical expertise
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Scholar and teacher
  • Technical expertise


What specialties are surgeons trained in?

RACS trains doctors to become surgeons in nine surgical specialities:


How do I become a surgeon?

To become a surgeon, you must first complete a medical degree and then work and train in a clinical setting - usually a hospital - for two to three years. The earliest point at which you may apply to enter the RACS Surgical Education and Training (SET) program is during your third 'postgraduate' year (PGY3) after university.

If your application to enter SET is successful, you will train in one of the nine surgical specialties under the auspices of RACS. This training occurs primarily in public hospitals and usually takes at least five or six years. Following successful completion of SET you will become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), accredited to practise independently as a surgeon.

Indigenous people are under-represented in the health workforce and under-represented as Fellows and trainees of the College. The Indigenous Health Committee is working with Indigenous doctors' associations in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to implement its plan to promote surgery as a career to Indigenous communities. For more information about RACS Closing the Gap initiatives look at the activities of the Indigenous Health Committee.

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 for SET