General Surgery

General surgeons provide comprehensive surgical care to a range of different patients, including patients who suffer from diseases and conditions which effect the oesophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, appendix and bile ducts, the skin, breast and soft tissue.

Clinical Practice

General surgeons work within both public and private facilities, providing emergency and elective surgical services and outpatient care. General Surgeons also often provide outreach surgical services to regional, rural and remote patients. Procedures commonly performed by a general surgeon may include; oesophagectomy, gastrectomy, hiatus hernia repair, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, splenectomy, hemicolectomy, hysterectomy, and mastectomy.

Statistics and information - General Surgery

Number of specialists - QLD

Number of new fellows - QLD

Number of specialists - AUS

Number of new fellows - AUS

Average weekly hours

Average Age

% Aged 60+

39% of 2018 workforce intend to retire by 2028

Proportion Female/Male - QLD


Location - QLD

Major cities

Public/Private QLD


Number of trainees - QLD

Number of new trainees - QLD

Number of trainees - AUS

Number of new trainees - AUS

PGY new trainees - QLD

Proportion Female/Male - QLD


Length of Training

4-5 years full-time

Method of Allocation

College-selected trainees may be allocated to a training post by:

  • College
  • Queensland Health pathway/network (centrally coordinated)
  • Queensland Health facility (accredited for training)

Training and assessment summary

For detailed information in relation to training and assessment requirements, please contact RACS.

Training program overview

General surgery trainees are selected directly into the sub-specialty and progress through the SET (Surgical Education and Training) program, an integrated program designed to provide clinical and operative experience to enable trainees to engage in the comprehensive care of surgical patients. The main components of SET training are placements in hospital posts, short courses (skills and specialty-specific), research and assessments. Upon completing all requirements of the training program, trainees may apply for admission to Fellowship of RACS.


Applicants must have permanent residency or citizenship of Australia and New Zealand at the time of registration and hold general (unconditional) medical registration in Australia or general scope or restricted general scope registration in the relevant specialty in New Zealand. Applicants are also required to have successfully completed the RACS Hand Hygiene Learning Module and RACS Let’s Operate With Respect eModule and have passed the RACS Generic Surgical Science Examination (GSSE). In addition, applicants must have completed 26 weeks general surgery rotation and 8 weeks critical care rotation. Further details are available from RACS.


Minimum 50% of full-time commitment however trainees must apply to the relevant specialty board at least 6 months prior to the proposed commencement of part-time training. Training must be completed within 9 years.

Interrupted training

Trainees must apply to the relevant specialty board at least 6 months prior to the commencement of the training year in which the proposed interruption will commence.

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