Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)

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The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the body responsible for training and examining surgeons in Australia and New Zealand. The head office of the College is in Melbourne, Australia.

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: 1.Cardiothoracic surgery 2.General surgery 3.Neurosurgery 4.Orthopaedic surgery 5.Otolaryngology head and neck surgery 6.Paediatric surgery 7.Plastic and reconstructive surgery 8.Urology 9.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.
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