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Contemporary Surgical Practice (SURG90021)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeSURG90021
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The aim of this subject is to provide students with a snapshot of contemporary surgical practice and training, including elements of professionalism. Macro, meso and micro level perspectives will be offered to review different facets of surgical practice and training. This framework considers the role of individuals, institutions and broader societal issues on surgical practice. Although focused on the current, we also look to the past to make sense of the present and project future trends. The content explores the nine surgical competencies as defined by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons setting the stage for the remainder of the course and surgical training.

Intended learning outcomes

Students completing this subject should be able to:

  1. Outline features of contemporary surgical practice from macro, meso and micro levels
  2. Outline the nine surgical competencies and their relationship to levels of training
  3. Give examples of historical factors that impact current surgical practice
  4. Describe current surgical training pathways from selection to fellowship
  5. Discuss key issues in professionalism in the context of surgical practice

Generic skills

  • Initiative, autonomy, organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Oral communication
  • Finding, evaluating and using relevant information
  • Written communication
  • Working with others and in teams

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Essay (3000 words) Due week 6 of semester 1 (45%) - Students write an individual essay based on one of four topics.
  • Project (4500 words equivalent per group) + 500 words (Individual) Due week 12 of semester 1 (55%) - Students will work in groups of three to complete a substantial project relating to an element of professionalism in surgical practice.
    Assessment weighting is assigned as follows:
    35% for product of group work;
    15% for reflective writing (500 words) and
    5% peer assessment against clear criteria of the process – participation, teamwork, timeliness, supporting others, solving conflicts, exchanging information and coordination.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorDebra Nestel
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours14 hours intensive, over two days
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information


    Administrative Contacts

    Julie Miller j.miller@unimelb.edu.au

    Kim McCaughtry kimem@unimelb.edu.au

Time commitment details


Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Required readings will be available electronically via the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of semester.

    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. JDocs Framework: Learning Outcomes and Professional Standards. Melbourne: RACS - The College of Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand, 2014.

Last updated: 24 August 2019