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Flexible surgical training in Australasia

Establishing part-time surgical training posts may be difficult, but evidence suggests it is possible and increasingly necessary

The study by McDonald and colleagues confirms previous reports in Australia and elsewhere that there is a significant difference between the number of trainees who are undertaking some of their surgical training part-time and those who would be interested in doing so.1

It cannot be denied that doctors entering a career in surgery are now seeking a more balanced lifestyle. Generational change and associated lifestyle expectations, the feminisation of the workforce and changing working environments have contributed to the trend.2

While the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has had a policy supporting flexible surgical training for some years,3 it recognises that, by itself, this is not enough. The RACS has recently established the Flexible Training Working Party to look at how we can make the option of part-time training more of a reality for our trainees. Members of the working party include jurisdictional (ie, hospital and health department) representatives, and representatives from…