Orthopaedic surgery

Orthopaedic surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, ligaments, tendon and peripheral nerves). It includes the management of trauma to the musculoskeletal system and the management of congenital and acquired disorders.

Vocational training in New Zealand

Vocational training in orthopaedic surgery is undertaken through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). Once RACS training is completed the doctor is awarded the Fellowship of the RACS (FRACS) in orthopaedic surgery.

Am I able to apply to work as a recognised specialist in New Zealand?

To apply for vocational registration in orthopaedic surgery, you need either:

  • the FRACS qualification; or
  • an international postgraduate medical qualification, where your combination of qualifications, training and experience will then be assessed against the standard of FRACS in orthopaedic surgery.

What standard will my training, qualifications and experience be compared against?

Recognised specialists in New Zealand must complete at least 5 years of training and satisfy the requirements below:

  • 5 or more years of advanced orthopaedic surgical training.
  • it is expected that trainees will complete training in a number of hospitals with accredited posts.
  • keep up-to-date records of procedures in their eLog within the Trainee Information Management System (TIMS).
  • regularly complete the following Work Based Assessments: Quarterly Run Assessment (QRA), Patient Consultation Assessment (PCA), Management Plan Assessment (MPA), Case Based Discussion (CbD), Surgical Skills Assessment (SSA), and Feedback Entries.
  • attend all Training Weekends at all SET levels, Mock Exam in SET4 and Pre-Exam in SET5.
  • complete the following courses: Australian and New Zealand Surgical Skills Education and Training (ASSET), Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCRISP), Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST), Critical Literature Evaluation and Research (CLEAR), Training in Professional Skills (TIPS), Orthopaedic History and Examination Course (OHE).
  • pass the Orthopaedic Principles and Basic Sciences (OPBS) examination by the end of SET3.
  • pass the Fellowship examination during SET5.
  • participate in an accredited continuing professional development programme.

Once a trainee has successfully completed all the examination and training requirements, they will be awarded the FRACS in orthopaedic surgery.

I want to make a vocational registration application

To make a vocational registration application, please refer to the Vocational Registration Homepage and select the option appropriate for you.

Am I able to apply for other types of registration?

You may be able to apply for more than one type of registration. To find out which is the best fit for you, please use our self assessment tool.