Fellowship Training in Australia and New Zealand


The General Surgeons Australia (GSA) Trauma Training Committee is responsible for the delivery of the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery in Australia, the accreditation of hospital posts, and the supervision and assessment of Post Fellowship Trainees.

The GSA Trauma Training Committee works in collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Surgery of Trauma (ANZAST) and its Executive.

The PFET Program in Trauma Surgery is governed by GSA’s policies and procedures of Post Fellowship Education and Training.

Trauma is and will be carried out by General Surgeons across Australia. It is hoped that this more defined program will facilitate the training of highly specialised trauma surgeons.

Fellowship Training Explained

What does the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery involve?

The PFET Program in Trauma Surgery is a 2-year full-time program that builds on the SET program in General Surgery. Eventually it is anticipated that the PFET Program in Trauma will also be open to Vascular and Orthopaedic surgeons.

Clinical Expertise: The PFET Program in Trauma Surgery curriculum encompasses medical and technical expertise and judgement and clinical decision making in all areas of acute trauma care. Mandatory competency is required for a number of procedures, while operative experience or operative knowledge only is required for others. A detailed list of required competencies can be found in the PFET Trauma Curriculum and Core Competencies document. Formative assessment is via the use of in-training assessment forms and direct observation of procedure skills (DOPS) in surgery.

Scholar: It is a requirement of the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery that a trainee completes an EMST provider or refresher course within the 4 years prior to the completion of the first year of training. While not a mandatory requirement, PFET Program trainees are encouraged and supported in becoming DSTC faculty. Involvement in teaching is considered an important role for any trauma specialist and aligns with a number of the objectives of ANZAST.

Leadership: In addition to the requirement for trainees to develop competency in the role of team leader during trauma resuscitation, trainees are encouraged and supported in their efforts to develop more general leadership skills. This is via involvement with various local hospital, RACS and ANZAST committees responsible for the delivery of trauma care and skills training.

Research: It is also a requirement of the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery that trainees successfully submit for publication at least one paper in the field of Trauma in a peer reviewed scientific journal, or book chapter as a major author. Trainees are also required to present a poster of research outcomes in the field of Trauma at a recognised peer-reviewed national meeting.

Who is training open to?

The objective of the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery is to train surgeons to a standard where they are regarded as specialists in the surgical care of the severely injured. It is expected that such surgeons will be able to receive and resuscitate a severely injured patient, perform time-critical resuscitative surgical procedures, deliver definitive surgical and perioperative care relevant to their primary surgical specialty, and to coordinate and facilitate the surgical and perioperative care relevant to other surgical specialties as required.

The PFET Program in Trauma Surgery is open to general surgeons eligible to train and practice in Australia.

Specifically, applicants need to be general surgeons with their FRACS, or general surgical SET trainees who have successfully completed their Fellowship examination, or who have enrolled in the May sitting in the year of application. Surgeons must also have Australian citizenship or permanent residency and be eligible for general or specialist registration with AHPRA. 

The TTC is working towards opening up the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery to general surgeons in Aotearoa (AoNZ), as well as to Vascular and Orthopaedic surgeons across both countries.

GSA PFET Selection to Trauma Surgery Policy

What is the process for appointment into an accredited position?

There are two steps in being appointed as a trainee into an accredited post in Australia.

First, an applicant needs to apply for the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery via GSA. Applicants are selected for the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery based on meeting the minimum standard and ranking highly enough in comparison to the appropriate intake, to be made an offer of selection. Minimum standard and subsequent ranking is determined by the culminative score from each of three selection tools: structured CV (30%), structured referee report (30%) and panel interview (40%). 

On successful selection into the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery, trainees then need to apply for appointment into one or more accredited training positions. There are currently five accredited positions in Australia. It is at the discretion of each of the accredited posts as to who they appoint. Trainees have 12 months from the date of offer to secure employment and will be assisted where possible, to facilitate employment.

Full details regarding selection into PFET Program in trauma Surgery can be found in the Selection Regulations Handbook

What posts are accredited in Australia?

The following posts have been accredited for PFET Program in Trauma Surgery as of September 2021:

  • Liverpool Hospital NSW
  • Westmead Hospital NSW
  • John Hunter Hospital NSW
  • Royal Darwin Hospital NT
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital VIC
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital SA
  • Royal Perth Hospital WA
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital QLD
  • Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital QLD

GSA Trauma Training Committee

The GSA Trauma Training Committee is the overseer of the PFET Program in Trauma Surgery, and reports directly to the GSA Board of Directors. Members of the Trauma Training Committee are required to be members of ANZAST but are not required to be a member of GSA. Below is a list of the current Training Committee Members.

Chair: Mr Dieter Weber, FRACS – General Surgery, Australia

Deputy Chair: Zsolt Balogh, FRACS – Orthopaedic Surgery, Australia

Secretary: Mr Joe Dawson, FRACS – General & Vascular Surgery, Australia

Treasurer: Dr Kate Martin, FRACS – General Surgery, Australia

Committee Members:

  • Mr Ian Civil, FRACS – Vascular Surgery, Aotearoa (AoNZ)
  • Mr Ian Young, FRACS – Orthopaedic & Military Surgery, Australia
  • Mr Martin Wullschleger, FRACS – General Surgery, Australia
  • Mr Jeremy Hsu, FRACS – General Surgery, Australia
  • Mr Ash Taneja, FRACS – General Surgery, Aotearoa (AoNZ)

2024 Training Fee

The GSA Board of Directors has approved the Training Fee of $2,500 (inc GST) for the 2024 PFET Program in Trauma Surgery. A 10% Administration Fee is payable for Trainees not in Clinical Training.

For all Trauma Training Program queries, please contact:

Elizabeth Pedersen
Executive Officer – PFET
General Surgeons Australia
Suite 15, 213 Greenhill Road

P +61 8 8274 3791
F +61 8 8373 7032
E liz.pedersen@generalsurgeons.com.au