Job Spotlights

Surgeon

Save lives and alleviate suffering

What do they do?

Surgeons perform surgery to correct deformities, repair injuries, prevent and treat diseases, and improve human functioning and appearance.

If you have a steady hand, an inquiring mind, and work well under intense pressure then surgeon might be the career for you.

 

Duties: 

  • examine patients to determine medical state, necessity of surgery, and surgical risk
  • analyse patient medical history, allergies and examination results to decide best courses of action
  • consulting with Anaesthetists regarding the correct anaesthesia for patients
  • selecting the best operational procedures and performing operations
  • prescribe pre-operative and post-operative treatments to patients including sedatives and antibiotics
  • refer patients to other medical specialists and exchange relevant medical details
  • explaining risks to patients
  • examining instruments, equipment, and surgical set-up to ensure that antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed
  • instructing other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients and instrument and equipment requirements
  • prescribing post-operative care, and observing and investigating patients’ progress
  • maintaining records of operations performed
  • may specialise in particular types of operations

 

Skills required:

  • good communication skills
  • high ethical standards
  • compassionate towards others
  • high level of motivation and self-discipline
  • excellent hand-eye coordination, excellent vision and visuospatial awareness
  • above average dexterity
  • good organisational ability and decision-making skills
  • emotional resilience, a calm temperament and the ability to work well under pressure
  • physical stamina to cope with the demands of surgery
  • the ability to lead and manage a team effectively

 

Pathways

Surgery is a challenging and rewarding career, requiring commitment, discipline and compassion. Surgical training usually takes five to six years following completion of a medical degree.

The steps are:

  • Complete a medical degree & internship, obtain medical license
  • Work and train in a clinical setting as a resident – usually a hospital – for two to three years.
  • Apply to the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) Surgical Education and Training (SET) program (or other accredited course) during your third ‘postgraduate’ year (PGY3) after university.
  • If your application to enter SET is successful, you will choose to train in one of the nine surgical specialties including (5+ years full-time):
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery – surgery inside the chest including heart and lungs
  • General Surgery – abdominal contents including oesophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, appendix and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland
  • Neurosurgery – nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.
  • Orthopaedic Surgery – muscles and bones
  • Otolaryngology – head and neck surgery
  • Paediatric Surgery – surgeries on babies, children and adolescents
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Urology – kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate, urethra, testes
  • Vascular Surgery – arteries and veins
  • Receive fellowship
  • This training occurs primarily in public hospitals and usually takes at least five or six years. Following successful completion of SET you will become a Fellow and be accredited to practise independently as a surgeon.

 

Average salary:

Varies depending on speciality, institution, location, overtime and bonuses.

General Surgeon $154,027 (Source: payscale.com)

Neurosurgeon: $242,200 (range $60,402 to $502,004) (Source: MEDIQ Financial Services)

Surgeons $398,866 (Source: advancedmed.com.au)

 

Future growth: stable (source: Joboutlook.gov.au)

 

 

 

 

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