Plastic and reconstructive surgery

Plastic and reconstructive surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients requiring the restoration, correction or improvement in the shape and appearance of the body structures that are defective or damaged at birth or by injury, disease, growth or development. It includes all aspects of cosmetic surgery.

Vocational training in New Zealand

Vocational training in plastic and reconstructive 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 plastic and reconstructive surgery.

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

To apply for vocational registration in plastic and reconstructive 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 plastic and reconstructive surgery.

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

Recognised specialists in New Zealand must complete at least 5 years of advanced training (after obtaining general medical and surgical experience) and meet the requirements below:

  • attend one training event before the second year of training
  • also before the second year of training, complete Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCrISP), Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST), Australian and New Zealand Surgical Skills Education and Training (ASSET), and Emergency Management of Severe Burns (EMSB) courses
  • undertake Direct Observation of Procedures (DOPS) and Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercises (Mini-CEX) during the first 2 years of training
  • attend the annual week-long Registrars’ Conference from the second year of training until after they've taken the Fellowship examination
  • pass the generic surgical science and clinical examinations before beginning the third year of training
  • pass the annual online in-service examinations from the third year of training until after they've taken the Fellowship examination
  • pass the plastic and reconstructive surgical sciences and principles examination before beginning the fifth year of training
  • complete a research project before sitting the Fellowship examination
  • submit logbooks to their supervisor for each surgical term
  • pass the Fellowship examination after training is completed
  • participate in the RACS continuing professional development programme.

Once a trainee has successfully completed the examination and training requirements they will be awarded the FRACS in plastic and reconstructive 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.