The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) would like to thank the Podiatry AccreditationCommittee for the opportunity to provide comments in relation to the proposed professional capabilities and accreditation standards for podiatric surgery.
RACS is the leading advocate for surgical standards, professionalism and surgical education in Australia and New Zealand. RACS is also the sole Australian Medical College (AMC) accredited trainer and educator for the specialty fields of Cardiothoracic surgery, General surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic surgery, Otolaryngology Head-and-Neck surgery, Paediatric surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, Urology and Vascular surgery. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the only field of surgery with AMC- accredited training and education programs in which RACS does not take the lead role.
RACS notes all this information about our role in the Australian healthcare system, as we would like to make clear that in providing comments, our sole interest is in improving the safety of surgery in Australia. With our focus on surgical safety, it is RACS’ view that the AMC is the most appropriate body for assessing whether podiatric surgery training programs meet clinical and surgical standards, given that it performs this function for all other surgical education and training programs.
Other than taking the above position, RACS does not intend to provide a critique of the proposed capabilities and standards. For that we defer to the Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA), the representative body for specialist surgeons whose scope of practice include procedures also undertaken by podiatric surgeons.
RACS notes that in its submission, the AOA and its partner organisation, the Australian Orthopaedic Foot
& Ankle Society (AOFAS), agree with RACS in relation to the role of the AMC. RACS also notes that AOA
& AOFAS express a willingness to craft a comprehensive and complete definition of the education required to undertake surgery in this area, and to define the educational standards of courses, if they can be confident in the administration of these standards.