What they do
Paediatric surgeons are specialists that surgically treat chronic and life-threatening diseases, disorders and trauma in infants, children and adolescents. Paediatric surgeons can perform various procedures such as skin graft surgery for burns, surgery for fractured or broken bones, and surgery to correct congenital disorders. They can also perform surgery to remove cysts and cancerous tumours and to treat serious injuries.
There just under ten paediatric surgeons in Western Australia, all of whom work in the Perth metropolitan area.
Paediatric surgeons work in public and private hospitals as surgical specialists. They may also teach and supervise students, and conduct medical research. They may be required to work long shifts, odd hours and weekends. They may be required to be on call in case of an emergency.
Paediatric surgeons operate in completely sterile theatre rooms and must wear protective clothing.
Tools and technologies
Paediatric surgeons use a range of specialised surgical instruments while operating, such as forceps, scissors, retractors, contractors, clamps and scalpels that have been modified for use on infants and children. They can also use technologies such as intraoperative MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). They must wear sterile surgical attire while operating.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a paediatric surgeon, you must first become a qualified medical doctor and then specialise in paediatric surgery.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
To specialise in paediatrics, doctors must apply to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) to complete the Paediatric Surgery Surgical Education and Training Program and ultimately receive fellowship.
To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency).
Required registration and licensing
To work as a paediatric surgeon in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.