Surgical History


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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.

  • 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 Fellows.
  • 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 Collections.


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 College website.


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 non-Fellows.


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