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Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic Surgery

Your Pathway into Orthopaedic Surgery training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

RACS Eligibility:  

  • Registrants must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand.  
  • Registrants must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia or the Medical Council or New Zealand.  
  • Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Hand Hygiene Learning Module 
  • Completion of the RACS “Operating with Respect” eLearning module 
  • Must consent to a Police Check 

AOA Specialty Specific Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Completion of at least 26 working weeks of orthopaedic surgical experience within the last two years (commencing start of clinical year 2021at the earliest) at PGY3 or higher  
  • Successful completion of the Generic Surgical Sciences exam (GSSE) 
  • Successful completion of a state-licenced Radiation Safety Course 
  • Refer to the Australian Orthopaedic Association AOA 21 Training Program for further information on selection and/or eligibility. 

Total Training Time

Total: The AOA 21 Training Program is competency-based rather than time-based. Average time to complete the program is 5 years.

The AOA 21 Training Program is competency-based rather than time-based.  

Pre-requisites for training – Approx. 30-48 months  

Introduction to Orthopaedics – Approx. 12-18 months  

Core Orthopaedics – Approx. 36 months  

Transition to Consultant Practice – Approx. 12 months  


How to Apply

Selection to the AOA 21 Training Program in Orthopaedic Surgery in Queensland is managed by the Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).

Applicants wishing to apply to the Australian Orthopaedic Association AOA 21 Training Program must first register with Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and fulfil all of the RACS generic eligibility criteria.

In addition to RACS generic eligibility criteria, applicants must fulfil the AOA special criteria.

Applicants who are successful with AOA and RACS will need to apply to the Queensland Health RMO Campaign for an employment contract to be issued by the allocated facility.

Application Deadline

RACS Registrations open January each year  

AOA Applications open March each year   

These dates can vary, please click here to view the AOA Website.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get experience in Orthopaedics during university?

The best way to get experience in Orthopaedics during your degree is to complete one or more of your elective terms in Orthopaedic surgery. In addition, in conjunction with universities, AOA offers several undergraduate scholarships and prizes that are designed to encourage students to gain experience in Orthopaedic surgery: 

AOA Undergraduate workshop 
AOA Joint Scholarship Program – University of Melbourne 
AOA Joint Scholarship Program – James Cook University 
AOA Joint Scholarship Program – University of Wollongong 
If you are interested in a career in Orthopaedics, we strongly encourage you to consider applying for these opportunities during your time at university. 

How many attempts can I make at selection into Orthopaedic training?

Applicants are permitted a total of four attempts at selection into the AOA 21 Training Program. After a third unsuccessful attempt at selection a comprehensive review of the applicant’s performance will be conducted. The applicant will be invited to a counselling session with a member of the AOA Selection Committee to discuss their performance in the context of a further attempt. 

Can I take breaks in training?

Yes. Trainees can request an interruption to training for family, research, illness, and other reasons. Interruptions can be taken for six months, 12 months, or in some cases even longer. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website aims to assist medical students and doctors in training with medical career planning. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is current and accurate, all details should be verified through the relevant Specialist College.

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
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Central West region
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Mackay region
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North West region
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Torres and Cape region
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Townsville region
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