Surgeon

Operate to repair injuries, correct deformities, prevent and treat diseases and improve human body functions and appearance.

Surgeon

Surgeon

Roles and responsibilities

To qualify as a surgeon:

Step 1
Complete any undergraduate bachelor’s course {Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)} as your first degree.

Step 2
Complete the postgraduate Doctor of Medicine to qualify as a doctor.

Refer to the Study Pathways to the right for more information.


The work of a surgeon is among the most challenging of professions, often carried out in life-saving situations.

As a surgeon, you will be expected to:

  • examine patients to determine the necessity of operations
  • estimate and explain the risks to patients, and select the best operational procedures; review reports on a patient's general physical condition, reactions to medications and medical history
  • consult anaesthetists regarding the correct anaesthesia for patients
  • perform surgical operations
  • examine instruments, equipment, and surgical set-up to ensure that antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed
  • instruct other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients and the instrument and equipment requirements
  • prescribe post-operative care, and observe and investigate a patient's progress; maintain records of operations performed.

A surgeon may specialise in particular types of operations. They may work in public or private hospitals, as well as in private practice as a specialist in their chosen field.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

To qualify as a surgeon:

Step 1
Complete any undergraduate bachelor’s course {Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)} as your first degree.

Step 2
Complete the postgraduate Doctor of Medicine to qualify as a doctor.

Refer to the Study Pathways to the right for more information.


The work of a surgeon is among the most challenging of professions, often carried out in life-saving situations.

As a surgeon, you will be expected to:

  • examine patients to determine the necessity of operations
  • estimate and explain the risks to patients, and select the best operational procedures; review reports on a patient's general physical condition, reactions to medications and medical history
  • consult anaesthetists regarding the correct anaesthesia for patients
  • perform surgical operations
  • examine instruments, equipment, and surgical set-up to ensure that antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed
  • instruct other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients and the instrument and equipment requirements
  • prescribe post-operative care, and observe and investigate a patient's progress; maintain records of operations performed.

A surgeon may specialise in particular types of operations. They may work in public or private hospitals, as well as in private practice as a specialist in their chosen field.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Undergraduate Courses To Become

Surgeon

Recommended major/s to pursue this career

These majors can provide a foundation of knowledge for this career but are not specifically required for admission to the relevant postgraduate qualification:
Postgraduate Courses To Become

Surgeon

Coursework courses to pursue this career

Professional training

After completion of the Doctor of Medicine and working in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency), doctors interested in becoming a general surgeon can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to undertake further training and ultimately receive Fellowship which normally takes at least six years of study while working as a doctor.