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The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the leading advocate for surgical standards, professionalism and surgical education in Australia and New Zealand.
RACS, a not-for-profit organisation, supports the ongoing development and maintenance of expertise during the lifelong learning that accompanies surgical practice of more than 7,000 surgeons and 1,300 surgical trainees and International Medical Graduates. RACS also supports healthcare and surgical education in the Asia-Pacific region and is a substantial funder of surgical research.
RACS promotes, teaches and assesses standards across nine surgical specialties in Australia and New Zealand: Cardiothoracic surgery, General surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic surgery, Otolaryngology Head-and-Neck surgery, Paediatric surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, Urology and Vascular surgery.
RACS surgeons are highly qualified specialists and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their area of skill. They have considerable knowledge and provide the best possible care to their patients.
With a proven commitment to lifelong learning and the highest standards of professionalism, Fellows of RACS offer caring, safe and comprehensive surgical care.
Being a Fellow of RACS (FRACS) requires ongoing learning and maintenance of knowledge and skills demonstrated through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs ensuring that Fellows not only maintain competency but also continuously build on and improve their clinical knowledge and skills in order to provide high quality contemporary healthcare to the public.
RACS has been an active supporter of community health initiatives for several decades. This support has been enabled through the generous contributions of governments, Fellows, Trainees, IMGs and friends of RACS through the Foundation for Surgery, the philanthropic arm of the organisation.
The Foundation for Surgery supports ground-breaking research to ensure safe surgical practice and assists people to have access to early detection and surgical care when they need it.
The Foundation has facilitated long-term change by supporting aspiring Indigenous surgeons in Australia and New Zealand and also worked to enhance recognition and awareness of their health needs.
RACS also provides specialist medical education, training, capacity development and medical aid to 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Visiting teams and in-country personnel provide clinical mentoring and education to the national medical workforces and deliver train-the-trainer programs to strengthen the capacity of national health services in the region
The RACS was rocked by a scandal in 2015 when a leading Australian vascular surgeon Gabrielle McMullin claimed during a speech that for the sake of their careers it would be safer for female surgical trainees to "comply with requests for sex from their supervisors" than to refuse and report these requests to the RACS. She later backed these claims with evidence that she had reported sexual harassment of trainees to the College and that the reports were ignored. The original comments were highly provocative and controversial, but have led to major changes at the RACS. In 2016, the RACS formed an official Diversity and Inclusion plan. Fewer than 15% of active Fellows in surgery in Australia are female.