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Surgeons operate on patients to correct deformities, repair injuries, prevent and treat diseases and improve human body functions and appearance. As well as performing surgical operations, Surgeons must consult with a range of other medical professionals, provide advice and explanations to patients, and maintain records. So as well as having a high level of surgical skill and dexterity they are also required to be strong communicators.
Surgeons work in a variety of medical fields in public and private hospitals and, among a range of specialties and sub-specialties, including:
An urologist manages and treats disorders of the male and female urinary tract and male reproductive organs.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
A plastic and reconstructive surgeon repairs and reshapes muscle and tissue injuries or congenital deformities.
A paediatric surgeon provides surgical care and treatment to children and adolescents.
A cardiothoracic surgeon performs heart and lung surgery.
A neurosurgeon operates to correct disorders of the brain, spine and nervous system.
An otolaryngologist manages and treats patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat (ENT), and related structures of the neck and face.
An orthopaedic surgeon treats muscular and skeletal diseases and injuries.
A vascular surgeon manages and treats patients with conditions affecting their arteries and veins.
A general surgeon manages and treats a broad range of conditions including gastrointestinal, breast and hernia disorders, and laparoscopic evaluations.
To become a surgeon, you must first complete a medical degree and then work and train in a clinical setting - usually a hospital - for one to two years. The earliest point at which you may apply to enter the surgical education and training program is during your second year of postgraduate placement.
If your application to enter is successful, you will train in one of the nine surgical specialties. This training occurs primarily in public hospitals and usually takes at least five or six years. Upon successful completion of training you will become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), accredited to practise independently as a surgeon