- To promote the broad study of the history of surgery, to foster
interest in the social significance of present and past surgical
practice, and to encourage research in these fields.
- The Section may have a role in the provision of advice relating
to matters pertaining to historical aspects of Military Surgery,
including the nomination of lecturers in this field and on the use
of the College archives or contributing to objectives related to
activities and exhibits of the museum.
- To cooperate with the organiser/conveners of the College Annual
Scientific Congress (ASC) to appoint a convener who will prepare
and coordinate the surgical history programs at the ASC.
- In conjunction with the ASC convenor for Surgical History,
approve named lecturers for lectures held under the auspices of
Surgical History (see related ASC named lecture policy).
- To promote the Cowlishaw Collection held at the College and
support the biennial symposium associated with it, in conjunction
with the Heritage and Archives Committee.
- To maintain a close association with the RACS Archives and
Library Committee, to ensure that the historical material of the
College and Faculty is used to the best advantage of all
- To advise the Heritage and Archives Committee of the Royal
Australasian College of Surgeons on matters pertaining to the
History of Surgery and Medicine, including College Archives and
The major activity of the Section is the convening of the
Surgical History program at the College's Annual Scientific
Congress. The Section is provided with funds from the College's
Visitor program enabling the Section to invite distinguished
medical historians to participate in the meeting. Trainees are
encouraged to submit abstracts for consideration for inclusion in
the program and a Trainee's Prize is offered for the best paper
presented by a Trainee. Trainees may be on the College training
program or may occupy an unaccredited post.
The Section also encourages its members to attend and contribute
to the Cowlishaw Symposium that is held at the College every even
year usually in November. Presentations at this meeting are based
on the study of one or more books housed in the College's Cowlishaw
Collection. A list of the Cowlishaw Collection is available on the
Membership of the Surgical History Section will be available to
all Fellows, Trainees or International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on
the pathway to Fellowship who have an interest in any aspect of
surgical history matters.
Invited members who do not qualify may be invited if they have a
specific interest and/or expertise related to surgical history.
After invitation such members may participate in the business of
the Section. However they shall have no voting rights and may not
be elected to office. A membership fee may be payable for
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
College of Surgeons Gardens
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 9276 7447
Fax: +61 3 9249 1219