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Supply and demand mismatch for flexible (part-time) surgical training in Australasia

Surgical training follows an apprenticeship model, traditionally involving long hours of full-time mentored practice over several years. Recently, this model has been challenged by several trends, including working-hour restrictions, falling case exposure, and a desire for work–life balance.13 Another challenge is an increasing demand for flexible (part-time) training.4,5

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) supports flexible training by allowing trainees to accredit part-time work, but it mandates a time commitment of at least 50% during any training year.6 However, the opportunity to train part-time in surgery is also influenced by hospital employers and supervisors, and the supply of part-time surgical training posts is limited.

There are currently no data from our region regarding the number of surgical trainees undertaking flexible training. Our primary aim was therefore to define current flexible surgical training uptake and demand in Australia and New Zealand. A secondary aim was to…