Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic surgeons diagnose, treat and manage patients with disorders and conditions which affect the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments. Orthopaedic surgeons use both surgical and non-operative means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumours, and congenital disorders.

Clinical Practice

Orthopaedic surgeons work within both public and private facilities, providing emergency and elective surgical services and outpatient care. Orthopaedic Surgeons often also provide outreach surgical services to regional, rural and remote patients. Procedures commonly performed by orthopaedic surgeons include total hip replacement, fracture repair, spinal fusion, shoulder arthroplasty and carpal tunnel release.

Orthopaedic Surgery – Information

Number of specialists - QLD (2021)

Number of new fellows - QLD

Number of specialists - AUS (2021)

Number of new fellows - AUS

Average weekly hours

Average Age

% Aged 60+

44% of 2022 workforce intend to retire by 2032

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

Proportion Female/Male trainees - QLD


2023 QLD Training Program Selections (First Year)

Eligible Applications Received
Applicants Selected

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2023 to the total number of eligible applications*

The data was sourced from the relevant medical specialist college, or from selection committees coordinated by a Queensland Health pathway/network, or an individual facility.


This data reflects a point in time figure for the selection of applicants commencing the first year of an accredited training program in the 2023 clinical year.

* eligible applications are determined by selection committees according to the eligibility criteria and required documentation prescribed by the relevant medical specialist college.

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2023 to the total number of eligible applications.

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Length of Training

Approximately 5 years full-time (competency based rather than time based program)

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

Orthopaedic 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 use surgical, medical, physical and rehabilitative methods in the care of the musculoskeletal system. 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 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS).


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 Operating with Respect eModule, and have passed the RACS Generic Surgical Sciences Examination (GSSE) at time of registration or by close of SET applications. In addition, applicants must fulfil the Australian Orthopaedic Association speciality specific eligibility criteria by the date applications open, including having completed a minimum of 26 working weeks of orthopaedic surgical experience in the 2 years immediately prior to application, and successfully completed a state-licenced Radiation Safety Course. Further details are available from RACS.


Part-time training is offered and each request for part-time training is considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the reason for the request and the part-time load that is requested to be worked.

Interrupted training

Interruptions are permitted for a variety of reasons and can be taken for 6 months, 12 months or in some cases longer. Interruption to training requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Regional Training Pathways