Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Otolaryngology head and neck surgeons diagnose, treat and manage patients of all ages who suffer from a broad range of diseases and conditions involving the ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Otolaryngology head and neck surgeons use both surgical and non-operative means to treat a range of conditions, including nasal and sinus conditions, snoring and breathing problems, tonsillitis, cancers of the head and neck, voice problems and hearing difficulties, including deafness.

Clinical Practice

Otolaryngology head and neck surgeons work within both public and private facilities to treat both adult and paediatric patients. Procedures commonly performed by Otolaryngology head and neck surgeons include tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, septoplasty, microlaryngoscopy, oesophagoscopy, endoscopic sinus surgery, tympanomastoid surgery, removal of neck lumps and salivary gland tumours and tracheostomy.

Otolaryngology – Head and Neck 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+

43% 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.

See more.

Length of Training

Approximately 4-5 years full-time (competency based program 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

Otolaryngology 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 investigate and treat conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck. 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 have completed a minimum of 10 consecutive weeks in a otolaryngology head and neck unit (completed between 1/1/2021-18/4/2023), an additional minimum 20 weeks of surgical experience (completed between 1/1/2021-18/4/2023), a minimum of 8 consecutive weeks in a dedicated Emergency Department, and a minimum of 8 consecutive weeks in a dedicated intensive care unit. 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

Interruptions are permitted for a variety of reasons and are allowed for periods in multiples of 6 months. Except for medical, carer's or parental leave, trainees cannot apply for interruption during the first 6 months of training.

Click a location to learn more
Regional Training Pathways