Frequently asked questions

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Find a surgeon

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.

 

How can I find out if my surgeon is properly qualified?

RACS certified surgeons can be found through the RACS Find a Surgeon directory (note this doesn't include all surgeons). Qualified specialist surgeons are also listed by the Medical Board of Australia and the Medical Council of New Zealand, and can be located on their websites.

You are encouraged to ask for your surgeon's qualifications, and if in doubt contact the relevant regulatory authority.

What are the usual qualifications for a surgeon?

All surgeons must first qualify as doctors, so they will have a university medical degree.

On passing the exam and assessment of clinical experience, they are admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), and can use the post nominal FRACS.

What do the letters after a surgeon's name mean?

FRACS: Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The letters FRACS after a surgeon's name mean that the surgeon's education and training, professional qualifications, and surgical competence have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, of which the surgeon is a current Fellow, and recognised by the regulatory authorities as a specialist.

How do I find a surgeon?

The RACS website has a Find a Surgeon directory. This is a listing of Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) who meet the requirements of the College's CPD program and have opted to be included on the list. Note this does not include all surgeons.

The main thing to keep in mind is that RACS surgeons are highly trained and qualified to perform surgery in Australia and New Zealand. A RACS surgeon can be identified by the letters FRACS.

Is my doctor qualified to be called a "Specialist Plastic Surgeon"?

The benchmark qualification for a trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New Zealand and Australia is a FRACS in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. In Australia, the Medical Board of Australia states that the "Specialist Plastic Surgeon" title can only be used by a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

In New Zealand, the title "Plastic Surgeon" can only be used by a surgeon who has been granted vocational registration in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery by the Medical Council of New Zealand.

For more information visit the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons or New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons websites.

What do I do if I have a complaint about a surgeon?

If you have any complaints or concerns about a surgeon you can raise this directly with the surgeon or the hospital or you can contact the relevant authority in Australia or New Zealand.

Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Authority
Medical Council of New Zealand
The Health and Disability Commissioner, New Zealand

RACS also has a formal process for lodging complaints about RACS Fellows who may have breached the RACS Code of Conduct. If you would like to make a complaint please consult RACS Complaints.

If you need help to complete the form please contact the Manager Complaints Resolution on 1800 892 491 (Australia) or 0800 787 470 (New Zealand).