Surgical Specialities

The Canberra Hospital gives JMOs the opportunity to experience all the difference surgical sub-specialties.

Each of the units is run by surgeons with not just clinical expertise in their field but an interest in medical education. Most of the surgeons also hold academic positions with the Australian National University.

There may be an opportunity to be seconded to Goulburn Base Hospital, Calvary Hospital, Moruya District Hospital and South East Regional Hospital (Bega). These secondment hospitals provide a unique opportunity to work side by side with the surgeons.

The Canberra Hospital is also a tertiary referral centre and a major trauma centre thus enabling its JMOs to gain experience in trauma management.

To ensure that the Royal Australian College of Surgeons criteria in terms of term allocation are fulfilled, JMOs are allocated terms during their PGY2 year appropriately.

The hospital has weekly teaching sessions both for those on the SET program as well as those in the pre SET years.

There is a “wet” laboratory that is run by the vascular department which serves as an excellent resource for anatomy teaching.

Provisions can be made to provide leave for those trainees interested in participating in courses outside the ACT region.

It is possible to complete the whole general surgical training program in Canberra.

The supervisor of general surgical education and training, Dr Frank Piscioneri is more than willing to guide future SET trainees in their career pathways.

ENT/Dental/Oral Maxillofacial Surgery

  • Unit provides oral and maxillofacial inpatient care, outpatient clinics and consultation services for both paediatric and adult patients
  • Extensive involvement in the management of head and neck tumours liaising with radiation oncology and medical oncology units – weekly head and neck clinics
  • Exposure to rhinology, otology and laryngology
  • Exposure to basic ENT skills such as use of ENT examination equipment and nasal packing
  • Weekly operating theatres
  • Weekly outpatient clinics
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

South East Regional Hospital (Bega)

  • The surgical unit consists of three general surgeons, one visiting urologist and two orthopaedic surgeons
  • Exposure to breast surgery, bowel, thyroid and skin lesions
  • Exposure to orthopaedics including both elective and trauma services
  • Unit encompasses high dependency unit beds
  • Weekly grand rounds and daily theatre lists
  • Monthly clinical review meetings
  • Weekly journal clubs

Breast/Head and Neck/Colorectal

  • Unit provides general surgery services to ACT and surrounding areas in NSW
  • Exposure to principles of wound management, management of drains and suturing
  • Daily operating theatres
  • Weekly surgical teaching sessions
  • Management of chest drains
  • Exposure to abdominal paracentesis and pleurocentesis
  • Early management of severe trauma course (EMST)
  • Wound management skills workshop
  • Participate in regular audits
  • Daily outpatient sessions
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Goulburn Hospital

  • Two general surgical teams covering most general surgical problems
  • JMOs liaise directly with consultants
  • Daily theatre lists
  • Weekly JMO tutorials
  • Exposure to ENT, breast surgery, orthopaedics, urology and colorectal surgery
  • Exposure to endoscopies
  • Exposure to procedures such as suturing, surgical knot tying, insertion of intercostal catheter, plastering

Calvary Hospital

  • Three general surgical teams covering most general surgical problems including breast cancer surgery and reconstruction, endocrine surgery, upper GI soft tissue tumours, colorectal malignancies, melanoma, urological and hernia surgeries, advanced laparoscopic procedures.
  • Elective ENT, maxillofacial, ophthalmological and vascular procedures
  • JMOs liaise directly with consultants
  • Daily theatre lists
  • Weekly JMO tutorials
  • Weekly grand rounds

Neurosurgery

  • Expanding unit providing expert care for patients with neurological disorders
  • Includes inpatient stroke unit
  • Daily outpatients clinics
  • Weekly journal clubs
  • Weekly radiology meetings
  • Supervisors are extensively involved in teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate trainees
  • Exposure to a clinical neurophysiology service which provides JMOs the opportunity to learn EEG and EMG interpretation
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Cardiothoracic Surgery

  • 24 hour cardiothoracic cover for ACT and regional NSW
  • Daily theatre lists
  • Weekly meetings with cardiology teams
  • Weekly audit meetings
  • Regular outpatient sessions including preadmission clinics
  • Exposure to procedures such as tube thoracostomy, central venous catheterisation, management of intercostal catheters and management of perioperative cardiothoracic patient
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Ophthalmology

  • This term available to PGY3+ graduates
  • Unit provides extensive outpatient clinics both at Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital
  • Sub-speciality ophthalmological services including retinal and corneal surgery provided
  • Emergency ophthalmological care
  • Daily outpatient clinics
  • Exposure to basic ophthalmological techniques including slit lamp examination and ophthalmoscope use
  • Exposure to simple procedures such as removal of corneal foreign bodies and surgery of chalazion
  • Observation of more advanced techniques such as intravitreal injection and retinal angiography
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Orthopaedic Surgery

The following rotations are available:

Canberra Hospital

  • Two inpatient units at Canberra Hospital and one inpatient unit at Calvary Hospital providing expert orthopaedic management
  • Daily Orthogeriatrics consultant cover for elderly patients with multiple co-morbidities
  • Exposure to the management of fractures, dislocations, soft tissue injuries, compartment syndromes, septic joints etc
  • Exposure to elective procedures
  • Procedural exposure to application of casts, tying surgical knots and suturing
  • Weekly radiology meetings
  • Daily fracture clinics
  • Daily elective and emergency trauma theatre lists
  • Weekly Orthogeriatric teaching rounds
  • Weekly face to face teaching sessions with term supervisor
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Calvary Hospital

  • The unit at Calvary Hospital provides expert orthopaedic management
  • Exposure to the management of fractures, dislocations, soft tissue injuries, compartment syndromes, septic joints etc
  • Exposure to elective procedures as well
  • Procedural exposure to application of casts, tying surgical knots and suturing
  • Weekly fracture clinics
  • Daily elective and emergency trauma theatre lists
  • Weekly x-ray case presentation sessions
  • Weekly outpatient sessions
  • Minimum of three per week teaching sessions with VMO’s
  • Opportunity for anatomy study sessions
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Paediatric Surgery

  • Unit provides general paediatric surgical services for ACT and regional NSW
  • Experience in paediatric venepuncture/cannulation, suprapubic catheter
  • Opportunity to participate in surgical audits and other quality assurance activities
  • Daily theatre lists
  • Weekly outpatient clinical teaching sessions
  • Weekly unit meetings/journal clubs
  • Weekly paediatric clinical meetings
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Plastic Surgery

  • The plastic and reconstructive unit provides services to the ACT and surrounding NSW region
  • Exposure to hand microsurgery
  • Exposure to complex maxillofacial surgery and acute soft tissue reconstruction
  • Exposure the microsurgical reconstruction
  • Extensive head and neck cancer services with involvement from radiation oncology department as well
  • Initial assessment and management of burns
  • Daily registrar review outpatient clinics
  • Daily consultant review outpatient clinics
  • Daily elective and emergency operating lists
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Acute Surgical Unit (ASU)

  • An innovative unit set up in December 2010 to expedite the assessment and management of patients in the ACT and surrounding NSW regions presenting with acute surgical conditions
  • Daily consultant ward rounds to ensure all patients have been appropriately assessed
  • Three times a day handover to ensure optimal patient care
  • Daily theatre lists
  • Weekly outpatient clinics
  • Weekly surgical registrar teaching sessions
  • Weekly surgical RMO teaching sessions
  • Participate in multidisciplinary assessment of patients
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research
  • Early management of severe trauma course (EMST)
  • Participate in regular audits

Trauma/General Surgery

  • Exposure to general surgery, multiple trauma management and complex wound management
  • Includes primary, secondary and tertiary injury services
  • Nutritional management including total parentral nutrition
  • Management of intercostal catheters
  • Management of tracheostomy
  • Developing counselling skills
  • Wound debridement and closure techniques
  • Insertion of central lines, tube thoracostomy, lumbar puncture and abdominal paracentesis
  • Involvement in regular audits
  • Early management and severe trauma course (EMST)
  • Daily operation theatres
  • Weekly radiology meetings
  • Weekly JMO teaching sessions
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Upper Gastrointestinal

  • Unit provides general surgery services to ACT and surrounding areas of NSW
  • Exposure to principles of wound management, management of drains and suturing
  • Daily operating theatres
  • Weekly surgical teaching sessions
  • Management of chest drains
  • Exposure to abdominal paracentesis and pleurocentesis
  • Wound management skills workshop
  • Participate in regular audits
  • Daily outpatient sessions
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research
  • Early management of severe trauma course (EMST)

Urology

  • Unit provides urological services for the ACT and regional NSW
  • Exposure to procedures such as urethral catheterisation and management of irrigation catheters
  • Monthly journal clubs
  • Monthly morbidity and mortality meetings
  • Daily theatre lists
  • Fortnightly combined uro-oncology multidisciplinary meetings
  • Weekly radiology meetings
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

Vascular Surgery

  • Unit provides emergency and elective vascular surgical care for patients in the ACT and regional NSW
  • Extensive exposure to angiograms and balloon angioplasties
  • Exposure to carotid endarterectomies
  • Weekly radiology meetings
  • Weekly surgical audit meetings
  • Vascular surgeon runs a “wet lab” in the hospital which can be used as a resource tool for those interested in surgical training
  • Weekly outpatient clinics
  • Daily elective and emergency theatre lists
  • Extensive opportunities for involvement in research

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Contact us

Contact ACT Health's Medical Officer Support Unit by emailing: tchmosu@act.gov.au or +61 2 6244 2779.