Training in the private sector: what works and how do we increase opportunities?

David A.K. Watters, B. D'Souza, G. Guest, D. Wardill, S. Levy, M. O'Keefe, S. Crowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In Australia 61% of elective surgery takes place in private hospitals where current opportunities for surgical education and training (SET) are limited. The situation will shortly be compounded because of the large increase in local medical graduates, many of whom will aspire to be surgeons. How and where to train these extra surgeons to meet the expanding needs of the community must be addressed. Two models of private sector training are reviewed both of which involved combined training in both private and public sectors. Two second-year (SET 2) positions were created from one public hospital SET position by using the private sector for 3.5 days per week for 3 months of a 6-month rotation. The second model was applicable to post-fellowship training with a fairly even split between public and private sector responsibilities. In the first year, four registrars shared the two 6-month rotations for the SET 2 position. Trainees did the required minimum procedures (range 109-139) with primary operating targets of 20-25% (range 21-32%). The post-fellowship position in colorectal surgery was greatly enhanced by the private sector involvement with regard to operating experience as well as meeting part of the remuneration of the trainee. Successful models for training within the private sector in Australia can be found. To expand training in the private sector there will need to be a cultural shift in the perceptions of surgeons, patients, administrators, and trainees. Funding for posts may be available to those private hospitals that can meet the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons' accreditation standards for posts and hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Private Surgery
  • Supervision
  • Surgical Education
  • Surgical Training
  • Training Logbooks

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