Clinical Examination

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About the Clinical Examination

The Clinical Examination (CE) is a practical exam which tests candidates' clinical application of the basic sciences as well as their technical and non-technical competencies.  The exam is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) consisting of 16 five-minute stations.  Candidates are assessed as they undertake four instances of each of four station types: physical examination, non-technical skills, history taking and procedural skills.

Please note that the following candidates are not required to complete the CE:

  • Neurosurgery trainees
  • Orthopaedic Surgery trainees (Australian) who commenced training from 2018 onwards.
  • Orthopaedic Surgery trainees (New Zealand) who commence training from 2019 onwards.
  • Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS) trainees who commenced training from 2018 onwards.
  • General Surgery trainees who obtained a place on the training program during 2018 selection process.

Important changes to the Clinical Examination

From 2022 the Clinical Exam will no longer be part of the surgical training program for the following specialties:

  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Australia
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery New Zealand
  • Urology

From 2022 the Clinical Exam will be a prerequisite for selection into the above specialties in addition to the Generic Surgical Sciences Examination.

To ensure there will be sufficient places for candidates, an extra exam will be added in October from 2019 onwards for prevocational doctors only. SET trainees will be limited to February and June examinations and will not be permitted to sit the October. This is similar to the transition plan used for the GSSE. Please see the examinations dates and locations page for full details.

Current SET trainees in the above mentioned specialties will be given priority for the February and June exams.

Candidates will be prioritised as outlined below:

TIER 1

Current SET trainees in specialties* still requiring the CE to be completed during training.

NB limited to current sittings (Feb & June only) and current regulations regarding progression apply.

TIER 2

Prevocational doctors who were selected for interview in 2018 for SET programs* that still require the CE to be completed during training, but who were not selected.

TIER 3

Prevocational doctors, who have passed the GSSE, who have applied or intend on applying for a SET program for those specific specialities* still requiring the CE to be completed within training.

TIER 4

Prevocational doctors, who have passed the GSSE, who have applied or intend on applying for a surgical specialty which has indicted a preference for the CE as a pre-selection requirement (i.e. Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and New Zealand Orthopaedic Surgery).

Specialties still requiring the CE to be completed within training:
*Cardiothoracic Surgery, Paediatric Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Australia and New Zealand, Urology and Vascular Surgery

The transition timeframe will be:

Transition Period Begins

Date and Location

Eligibile Candidates

23 & 24 Feb 2019
(results released March 2019)

Location: Melbourne

Tier 1 only - existing Surgical trainees only

 TRANSITION PERIOD BEGINS       

22 & 23 June 2019
(results released July 2019)

Location: Adelaide and Auckland

Tier 1 - existing Surgical trainees
Tier 2 - by invitation for unsuccessful surgical training interviewees

Maximum capacity for Australia is 162 and New Zealand is 36
NB: A minimum of 10 candidates is required and preferences cannot be guaranteed

12 & 13 October 2019
(results released November 2019)

Location: Sydney and Auckland

Tier 2 - by invitation - unsuccessful surgical training interviewees
Tier 3 - by invitation (& if capacity has not been reached) for applicants to surgical education training program not selected for interview

*Surgical trainees are not eligible

Maximum capacity for Australia is 162 and New Zealand is 36
NB: A minimum of 10 candidates is required and preferences cannot be guaranteed

How to prepare for the Clinical Examinations:

Information about how to prepare for the CE can be found on the webpages below. Prospective candidates are advised to check this page regularly for updates.

For further information please contact the Examinations Department

The Basics

Preparing for the Clinical Exam

On Exam Day

Exam Results

Policies

Instructions for Examiners

Contact

Examinations Department
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
College of Surgeons' Gardens
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia

Telephone: +61 3 9249 1245
Fax: +61 3 9249 1298
Email: examinations@surgeons.org