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Paediatric Surgery

Paediatric Surgery

Paediatric Surgery

Your Pathway into Paediatric Surgery training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

  • General medical registration
  • Completion of PGY2 minimum
  • Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Hand Hygiene Learning Module
  • Completed the RACS Operating with Respect eLearning module
  • Passed the Generic Surgical Sciences Exam

Paediatric Surgery Specialty Specific Eligibility Criteria:

  • Minimum duration of 52 weeks in a surgery rotation at a registrar level
  • Minimum duration of 10 weeks in a paediatric surgery rotation in a tertiary paediatric surgical unit
  • Refer to the RACS Paediatric Surgery Selection Regulations for further information on selection and/or eligibility

Total Training Time

Total: Sequential curriculum conducted over 6 years (full-time)

  • Early SET: 2 years (full-time) training
  • Mid and Senior SET: 4 years (full-time) in accredited speciality Paediatric Surgical Training posts in at least 2 training regions.

How To Apply

Registration, selection and application for training in Paediatric Surgery training can only be submitted via the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) online application system.

Applicants must first register with RACS in accordance with the Registration for SET Selection policy.

Whether or not an applicant can apply to the program is not linked directly to their postgraduate year (PGY) level, however doctors in PGY3 and further are more successful in their applications, having the extra time to achieve the perquisites needed. Each speciality has unique requirements for successful admission into the relevant SET program, so all applicants must check the unique requirements outlined by their chosen speciality they intent to apply for.

Information about each specialty’s SET selection process is published in November each year. The selection of trainees into the program is an annual process that begins in January and ends in September for most specialities. For more details on selection into the Paediatric surgery program, see the Paediatric Surgery speciality page.

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

When applying to the Queensland Health RMO Campaign, candidates can preference up to five hospitals at step 10 in the process. Candidates should always discuss employment opportunities with their preferenced facilities or training programs before submitting an application. The hospital within our region accepting applications is: Townsville University Hospital. For more information on the campaign and application process go to the Queensland Health website.

Application Deadline

Key dates for application submission, assessment and selection rounds are available on the Queensland Health Recruitment Campaign website for application through the RMO campaign. Once the campaign closes, only your preferenced facilities or training programs can access your online application and attachments to assess and conduct meritorious recruitment activities. The facility or training program may contact candidates to discuss applications and employment opportunities or organise interviews.

Each specialty training college has different application dates, so ensure you refer to the individual website for information. Consider these dates in conjunction with the RMO campaign key dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect as a Paediatric Surgery trainee?

As a Paediatric Surgery trainee, you can expect to receive comprehensive training in all aspects of surgical care for children. You will be exposed to a wide variety of surgical procedures, both common and rare, and will have the opportunity to develop your skills in both operative and non-operative care.

In addition to your clinical training, you will also participate in academic activities such as research and teaching. The Paediatric Surgery Training Program is designed to prepare you for a successful career in paediatric surgery.

What is a Paediatric Surgery specialist?

A Paediatric Surgery specialist is a surgeon who treats children. They often work in children's hospitals but may also work in general hospitals. Paediatric Surgeons treat a wide range of conditions, from simple hernias to complex congenital abnormalities.

Paediatric Surgery is a demanding and challenging field, but it can be extremely rewarding. It is a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young patients and their families.

What abilities are important for Paediatric Surgery?

Paediatric surgery is a unique and demanding specialty. In order to be successful, surgeons must have a wide range of skills and abilities.

Some of the most important skills and abilities for paediatric surgeons include:

Excellent surgical skills: Paediatric surgeons must be able to perform delicate and complex surgeries with precision.

Great communication skills: Paediatric surgeons must be able to effectively communicate with children and their families. They must be able to explain procedures and answer any questions that families may have.

Compassion: Paediatric surgeons must be compassionate in order to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Patience: Paediatric surgery can be very challenging, and surgeons must be patient in order to see cases through to completion.


How many applicants get selected per year?

The number of eligible applicants that are approved to become trainees within the Paediatric Surgery training program changes each year. It is a highly competitive program, with high standards for entry. In 2019, no applicants were selected into the program out of 4 eligible applicants. There are 26 trainees currently completing the program in Australia. Of the 90 specialists across the country, 16 are in Queensland. The majority of trainees selected into the program were PGY7+, meaning years of experience are required.

What is it like living in North Queensland?

North Queensland is a fantastic place to work and live. The region has the convenience of cities close by, coupled with reasonable housing costs and boundless landscape to explore only a short drive away. For those looking to make the most of the great outdoors, there are rainforest hikes, mountain biking trails and snorkelling or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. The region boasts a well-balanced mix of quality education and either a relaxed or adventurous lifestyle, depending on your preference.

Each regional centre in North Queensland is hard to beat when it comes to working and living. They are all small enough to escape the hustle and bustle associated with big city living, yet they remain large enough to boast a range of places to socialise and entertain yourself after work hours.  Living and working in Northern Queensland offers a great balance for everyone, at any stage or any age. Plus, with short commute times putting more hours back into your weeks, you’ll have plenty of time to explore in your free time.

Networking and industry social opportunities are commonplace amongst the tightknit health and hospital communities. By addressing the shortage of doctors in North Queensland, we hope to achieve our vision of improving the health of the communities in the region. A passion for improvement unites all the students, interns, junior doctors, and specialists training and working here. 

Training occurs within a wide range of hospital and health settings, all of which are of varying sizes and capabilities. Our training region ensures trainees have access to a diverse case load and case mix. These training areas include the following health service areas: Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.


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
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424