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Checking Your Doctor's Credentials in Australia

Australian liposuction and tummy tuck surgery.

This section of the Resources section is devoted exclusively to those who need to choose a skilled and qualified plastic surgeon in Australia, but who don't know where to look for information.

As a sidenote, be sure to read the "Checking Your Credentials" section, which contains non-geographical information about factors which should influence your choice of plastic surgeon, sections explaining board certification, general information about licensing and a listing of the places on the Internet where you can complete your research, many of which are applicable to Australia as well.

First Step:  Board Certification/Specialty Training

Is your "doctor" qualified to perform invasive plastic surgery on you?  Plastic Surgeons should be trained specifically in Plastic Surgery.  In Australia, until several years ago, finding out which doctors were properly trained was no easy task.

In 1999, a NSW (New South Wales) Cosmetic Surgery Report - Australia's only official inquiry into the cosmetic surgery industry - first seriously questioned the definition of the term 'surgeon' and upheld the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) as the benchmark standard for surgical certification.

The report stated that: "Medical practitioners performing invasive cosmetic surgical procedures should have adequate surgical training, being that required for Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), or equivalent."

In Australia, the FRACS qualification is the standard used for appointment to public hospitals and is usually required to be credentialled to perform surgery in private hospitals.

To become a FRACS member, doctors undergo a two-part training process through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS):

Part One - basic surgical training for two years after the intern year, followed by four to five years of advanced surgical training.

Part Two - an examination is conducted after completion of the advanced surgical training, covering a number of specialties, including plastic and reconstructive surgery, otolaryngology and ophthalmology.

What to Look For

Best Bet: Make sure your plastic surgeon is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. You can contact RACS at

College of Surgeons' Gardens
Spring Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Office: +61 (0)3 9249 1200,
Fax: +61 (0)3 9249 1219

Better Bet: Check to see if your plastic surgeon is ALSO a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).   The ASPS requires that you be a FRACS to be a member of ASPS and you can check membership online. This assures you the doctor is not only a FRACS but also a member of the Plastic Surgery Society.   Check membership by surgeon's last name at

Best Bet: If your surgeon is a member of Australia's ASPS, you're off to a good start. Make sure your surgeon also has a good and active license in his or her territory. Check here, to search, by territory...

If you do not find a surgeon near you in our Australian Plastic Surgeons Referral Section, the ASPS website listed above is an excellent place to start your research for a qualified surgeon.

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