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What is a plastic surgeon? The best way of reviewing this situation is firstly to understand the qualifications, training process, accreditation process, associations and college structure for each discipline. Outlined here are the basic principles pertaining to the specialty of plastic and reconstructive surgery in Australasia. Plastic surgeons undertake training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and specialize in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. The training process involves a competitive selection process; a primary examination; training courses provided by the RACS; compulsory research and after a period of 5-6 years - a final examination. Training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery may involve 2 years of General Surgery followed by 4 years of specialized training in Plastic Surgery. Following completion of surgical training time, and having completed the RACS examinations to attain the fellowship [FRACS (Plast)] - fellows of the College typically undertake a further 1-2 years of semi-supervised training in their particular subspecialty area of interest.
Associations, Societies and Foundations: Qualified surgeons often belong to a number of 'surgical societies'. In general these associations have an educational and consolidative role and hold clinical meetings and discussion groups for the benefit and interest of members. The societies do not usually examine the expertise of their members but may exclude those who have minimal or no training or expertise. ASPS - Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
NZAPS - New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons
ASAPS - Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
NZFCPS - New Zealand Foundation for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
The aims of both ASAPS and the New Zealand Foundation are ongoing education of its members, peer review, quality control and the education of the general public about cosmetic surgery. Both are attempting to influence government and the Ministry of Health in setting appropriate surgical standards to protect people who have cosmetic surgery, either in New Zealand or Australia Other Organizations of which your plastic surgeon may hold membership, fellowship with, include:
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