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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Your Pathway into Plastic & Reconstructive 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
  • Completion of the RACS Operating with Respect eLearning module
  • Completion of the Generic Surgical Sciences exam
  • Completion of the RACS Clinical Examination

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Specialty Specific Eligibility Criteria

  • Minimum duration of 8 weeks in an Emergency or Critical Care rotation at a PGY1+ level
  • Minimum duration of 10 weeks (including min 5 continuous weeks) in a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery rotation at PGY1+ level
  • Minimum duration of 26 continuous weeks in any surgical specialty rotation at PGY2 + level
  • Refer to the Regulations for Selection into Plastic & Reconstructive Surgical Education and Training guide for further information on selection and/or eligibility

Total Training Time

Total: 5 years (full-time)

Training is comprised of 5 years of Surgical Education and Training (SET) within Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

How To Apply

Applicants must first register their intention to apply for the SET in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) online after ensuring they have satisfied the generic eligibility requirements.

Then application to the program must be made to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

Applicants who are successful with RACS and ASPS will 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.

Further information on preferencing can be found here.

Queensland Health offers a central allocations program for SET 1 Principal House Officer (PHO) applications in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

SET 2-5 allocations for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery are conducted by the ASPS.

Application Deadline

All the 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 preferred 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, 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 Plastic Reconstructive Surgery trainee?

As a Plastic Reconstructive Surgery trainee, you will have the opportunity to change lives in a very real and profound way. As a trainee you will experience working within both public and private facilities to provide care for patients that require surgical, non-surgical, reconstructive, and cosmetic services.

You'll work with some of the most talented and dedicated surgeons in the world, using cutting-edge techniques and technologies to help your patients achieve their goals. Whether it's restoring a burned victim's ability to smile again or giving a child born with a cleft palate a new lease on life, you'll know that you are making a difference.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training will see trainees cover content across a broad scope of practice. Trainees will be required to maintain a log with all reconstructive and cosmetic procedures either observed or undertaken during their time in the program.

What is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Specialist?

A Plastic and Reconstructive specialist is a surgeon who specialises in reconstructive surgery to improve or return function to abnormal body structures caused by congenital defects, trauma, infection, tumours or disease and in procedures designed to improve the aesthetic appearance of body features.

What abilities are important for Plastic Reconstructive Surgery?

Plastic surgeons are highly trained professionals who use their skills to restore function and improve appearance for patients of all ages.

Some of the most important skills for plastic surgeons include:

Eye for detail: A good Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon needs to have an eye for detail and be able to visualise the end result of a procedure.

Technical skill: Performing surgeries requires a high degree of technical skill. Surgeons need to be able to execute procedures flawlessly and safely.

People skills: Plastic surgeons must be able to effectively communicate with patients and put them at ease. They also need to be able to work well with other medical professionals.

Physical stamina: Surgeons need to have the physical stamina to withstand long hours of standing and surgical procedures.

Mental stamina: Plastic surgeons must be able to handle the stress of performing surgeries and dealing with patients. They need to be able to think clearly and make quick decisions.

How many applicants get selected per year?

Every year, the amount of prospective Plastic and Reconstructive surgery trainees selected differs in Queensland. It is an incredibly competitive training program, with only 1 applicant selected from 7 applications received in 2021. There are currently 74 specialists in Queensland, of 452 across the country. There are currently 13 trainees studying in Queensland.

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