About Respect: What we are doing


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The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.


We are committed to building respect in surgery in Australia and New Zealand, and dealing with bullying, discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment.Logo

Our Action Plan: Building Respect, Improving Patient Safety outlines the work we are doing on culture and leadership in surgery; improving surgical education and strengthening complaints management.

Leader's message

Mr John Batten speaks about the "Let's Operate with Respect" campaign.

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Tackling discrimination and more

Being a surgeon takes more than technical excellence. How we behave shapes our culture and profession.

We are serious about putting an end to bullying, discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment in surgery. What we are doing is outlined in our Action Plan. This work is focused on three main areas: culture and leadership, improving surgical education and strengthening complaints management.

More than 20 projects are now underway, many of which will take more than three years to deliver.

Read more about the highlights of our achievements in 2016

2018 Activities

Our work to build a culture of respect is continuing in 2018. This year's priorities include:

  • supporting surgical supervisors to complete the one-day advanced course in "Operating with Respect", designed to help attendees indentify and deal effectively with unacceptable behaviours
  • supporting surgical educators to do the Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators (FSSE) course. Mandatory if you teach or train SET trainees or supervise IMGs
  • identifying and working towards removing perceived and real barriers to women considering surgery as a career
  • launching a peer support program to help those involved in a complaint through the RACS system
  • working closely with our partner hospitals to collaborate on initiatives for building a respectful culture in healthcare
  • implementing the RACS Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

Updated policies and procedures

We have updated many of our policies and procedures to make sure they reflect RACS commitment to building respect, and improving patient safety.

Some of the most important policies and procedures we have developed or updated include:


We have done a lot of work to improve surgical education. We have developed learning opportunities for surgeons to find out more about bullying, discrimination and harassment in the workplace and learn what they can do about it.

  • elearning module on DBSH. Mandatory for all College Fellows, Trainees and IMGs. Integrated with RACS' continuing professional development program
  • Expanded the Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators course, to strengthen surgical education. Mandatory for surgeons who teach or train SET trainees or supervise IMGs.
  • Operating with Respect face to face advanced training course to help surgeons deal with discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment. Mandatory for Surgical Supervisors.

Read more about these courses or register