Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2006)|
|This date:January 2010 needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
RACS was formed in 1927. Its major roles are in training surgeons, continuing education, and setting standards for surgical practice. The members of the College fall into two categories: Trainees (doctors training to be surgeons) and Fellows, (who possess the fellowship of the College - FRACS). Currently there are over 7,100 members of whom 1,650 are trainees.
The College is a non-government, not-for-profit body and this independence has led to conflict with government. It is also independent of universities. The College is funded through fees paid by Trainees and Fellows.
The College trains in nine surgical specialty areas:
- Cardiothoracic surgery
- General surgery
- Orthopaedic surgery
- Otolaryngology head and neck surgery
- Paediatric surgery
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery
- Vascular surgery
Some surgical specialties receive their training from separate colleges, these include: ophthalmic surgeons who are examined by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), oral and maxillofacial surgeons who are examined by the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS), and obstetric and gynecological surgeons who are examined by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).
The major activities of the College are surgical training and examination, setting standards for surgical practice, continuing professional development and government and media relations. The Surgical Education and Training (SET) program has improved the efficiency of surgical education and training through early selection into specialty training and streamlining training.
Role in surgical education in Australia
The report, says that the shortage of specialists and long waiting lists for elective surgery are linked to surgeons' high salaries and their tight control on entry into the profession. In the 1990s there was some controversy over the control of surgery by the RACS, following the publication of a report into Australian surgical workforce. Amongst other things, the report claimed that there were excessively tight controls exercised by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons on the supply of surgeons. The report was disputed strenuously by the College.
- A Cutting Edge: Australia's Surgical Workforce 1994
- A Cutting Edge: Australia's Surgical Workforce 1994, Peter Baume, commissioned by the Australian federal health minister for human services and health, Dr Carmen Lawrence, in June 1993
- British Medical Journal, 4 March 1995, letter from Thomas Hugh