Academic Surgery

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The Section of Academic Surgery (SAS) was formed in 2002 and now has more than 200 members throughout Australia and New Zealand. The overall goal is to promote academic surgery and to develop the scholar/teacher professional competency. The Section also provides an increasingly important link between the College and university departments of surgery.


  • To develop and monitor standards in academic surgical departments in Australia and New Zealand.
  • To enhance career pathways in academic surgery and to encourage younger surgeons to pursue opportunities in academic surgery.
  • To develop an Australasian curriculum for undergraduate surgery, which could be utilized to provide advice to Australian and New Zealand medical schools regarding appropriate surgical content, and which is appropriate for continuation to surgical education and training.
  • To advise Council on professional and policy issues related to academic surgery, as well as issues of relevance to surgery in general.
  • To respond to requests from Council for consideration of relevant issues.
  • To establish and maintain a registry of academically active members in order to support the Section's activities and plan appropriate workforce issues.

Definition of an Academic Surgeon

An academic surgeon is a leader who has chosen:

  • to acquire specific training and experience in research and/or education, and
  • to make these dimensions a significant part of their career


Application for membership entails submitting a completed application form (PDF 50 KB) and emailing it to

Membership of the Section is open to Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on a pathway to Fellowship who have an interest in academic surgery. The Executive Committee of the Section can also offer membership to individuals who are external to the College on recommendation from the Chair. Non College members may have to pay a membership fee but will not have voting rights and are not eligible to hold governance positions.


After the 2013 Annual Business Meeting of the SAS, the following Committee was endorsed:


Mr Richard Hanney

Vice Chair

Professor Guy Maddern


Professor Chris Christophi
Professor Mark Smithers
Professor Jeff Hamdorf
Professor Julian Smith
Professor John McCall
Professor John Windsor
Developing a Career in Academic Surgery (DCAS) Representative: Associate Professor Andrew Hill
Surgical Research Society of Australasia (SRS) Representative: Professor Leigh Delbridge
Younger Fellows Representative: Dr Jason Chuen
Trainees' Association (RACSTA) Representative: Dr Deborah Wright
Chair, Section of Research, Audit and Academic Surgery: A/Professor Ian Bennett
Board of Surgical Education and Training (BSET) Representative: Mr Philip Truskett
Academy of Surgical Educators Representative: A/Professor Stephen Tobin
Medical student representative: Elliot Dolan-Evans

Functional relationships

Through linkages within the College and through representation on the Executive Committee the Section of Academic Surgery has functional relationships with the:


Health Research Funding Organisations in Australia and New Zealand

Please see the link to the Guide to Health Research Funding Organisations which provides an overview of health-related research funding opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.

Key activities and dates

Developing a Career in Academic Surgery (DCAS) Course

This annual one day course provides advice and resources for SET Trainees, early career academics and younger Fellows who want to develop their research and teaching competencies. Provided by outstanding hand-picked academic surgeon role models, this course has been opened up to interested pre-vocational doctors and medical students, with 15 complimentary places provided annually for the latter by competitive selection through application.

The 2014 DCAS course will be held on Monday 5 May from 7.00am to 4.00pm at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. For further information please refer to the Provisional Program (PDF 205KB).

Section of Academic Surgery (SAS) - Annual Meeting of Academic Departments

This annual meeting is designed to bring academic surgeons together to discuss issues of common interest. Past themes have been Revitalising Academic Surgical Departments (2008), Becoming and Surviving as Academic Surgeons (2009), Developing RACS - University Collaborations (2010), Improving Training Pathways for Academic Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand (2011) and Academic Surgery in Australia and New Zealand - Update and Forward Planning in 2012. The 2013 meeting was held on Thursday 14 November 2013 in Adelaide. This year the meeting consisted of two workshops. The morning workshop was entitled Mid-Career Workshop for Surgical Leaders and the afternoon there was a workshop entitled University Hospitals and Surgical Services.  More details are available by contacting

In 2014 this meeting will be held in Adelaide on Thursday 13 November 2014. More details will follow at a later date.

Annual Scientific Meeting of the Surgical Research Society (SRS)

The SRS has a long history and has provided the best forum for the presentation of original research by Trainees and is strongly supported by the Section of Academic Surgery (SAS). This annual meeting is held in conjunction with the Section of Academic Surgery - Annual Meeting of Academic Departments.  More information and abstracts from previous meetings can be found on The Australasian Surgical Research Society page on the  ANZ Journal of Surgery website.

At the SRS meeting a Young Investigator Award of A$4000 will be offered to sponsor the recipient to attend the Academic Surgical Congress convened jointly by the Association for Academic Surgery and the Society of University Surgeons in the United States to present their work.  In addition, four travel grants (A$750 each) will be offered as well as an award to attend the Developing a Career in Academic Surgery (DCAS) course at the ASC.

The 2014 meeting will be held on Friday 14 November 2014, in Adelaide.  More details will be available at a later date.

Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) Fall Courses - USA

These courses are of interest to junior faculty, Fellows, residents and medical students.

 For more information, visit the Association for Academic Surgery website and select Fall Courses.

 If you have any questions, please contact the AAS Registrar at or call +1 310-437-1606, ext 128.

Fostering the relationship with the Association of Academic Surgery

One of the missions of the Association of Academic Surgeons (AAS) is to promote academic surgery around the world. Through the generous support of Johnson & Johnson Medical it has been possible to have AAS visitors to the DCAS course, the Younger Fellows Forum, the Annual Scientific Congress, and to several centres around ANZ.  The AAS invites a member of the SAS to give a state-of-the-art lecture and they invite the winner of the SRS Young Investigator Award to give their winning presentation at the AAS/SUS Annual Scientific Congress.

Fostering the relationship with medical students

A number of Surgical Interest Groups have developed in Schools of Medicine and these are being linked by the Surgical Interest Network (SurgIN). The Australian Medical Student's Association and New Zealand Medical Students Association have been invited to nominate one person to represent them on the Committee. A number of registrations will be provided to the DCAS course.


Section of Academic Surgery Secretariat
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
199 Ward Street
North Adelaide SA 5069 Australia

Telephone: +61 8 8219 0900
Fax: +61 8 8219 0999