Advanced Surgical Anatomy Postgraduate Training Course

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The course has Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA) approval and accreditation from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)

The Advanced Surgical Anatomy Postgraduate Training Course is designed to provide supervised comprehensive cadaver dissection training and topographical studies in Anatomy to the standard required for the General Surgical Sciences Examination (Anatomy) of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

The course will be delivered by the Discipline of Anatomy, (School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle), in collaboration with the Hunter New England Local Health District Surgical Training Network.

The following learning modalities will be utilised:

  1. Six (6) intensive workshop weekends (attendance required):
    i. A two-day introductory weekend that provides an introduction to the course, histology resources, dissection techniques and the commencement of anatomical dissection (superficial dissection of the lower limb and posterior torso).
    ii. Four intensive topic based workshop weekends (weekend 2 – 5; 16 hours per weekend). Each weekend will provide learning opportunities utilising whole body dissection, protected specimens, osteology and relevant medical imaging.
    iii. A final formal examinations weekend. A sixth (6th) and final weekend will be dedicated to the two final formal examinations and provide laboratory based revision opportunities.
  2. Detailed instruction is provided throughout the course from both clinical anatomists and specialist surgeons.
  3. Distance learning (readings, online resources and formative quizzes). Texts will be provided and are included in the costs of the course.
  4. Four in-class topic based exams based on the distant learning undertaken prior to each topic weekend. These exams will be conducted on each of the four intensive topic based weekends (weekends 2-5).
  5. Two final formal examinations: a practical identification examination (flag race examination) and an oral viva examination comprising of 4 topic stations.


The course will provide 20 units of elective credit in the Master of Clinical Epidemiology or 20 units of specified credit in the Master of Traumatology (Surgery specialisation option) conducted at the University of Newcastle.

Course Objectives

The postgraduate training course will provide students with:

  • A sound knowledge of regional anatomy appropriate for safe and competent surgical practice;
  • A sound knowledge of clinically important developmental and functional anatomy, and anatomical variations related to the areas studied;
  • An ability to identify structures and their anatomical relationships in protected specimens and associated imaging;
  • An ability to communicate anatomical concepts clearly, precisely and concisely.

Course Assessments

  1. Topic-based multiple-choice examinations.
  2. Oral (viva voce) examination.
  3. Practical identification examination.

Assumed Knowledge / Course Prerequisite

This course is designed to provide advanced professional training for doctors preparing to undertake the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons General Surgical Sciences Anatomy Examination or similar studies in which advanced anatomy learning is indicated. Completion of an undergraduate medical degree such as a MBBS or an equivalent qualification is a prerequisite for undertaking the Advanced Surgical Anatomy Postgraduate Training Course.

Weekend dates

Saturday and Sunday March 24th and 25th Introduction to the course, histology resources and dissection of superficial lower limb and posterior trunk

Saturday and Sunday

April 28th and 29th

Deep lower limb and external pelvis module

Saturday and Sunday

May 26th and 27th

Head, anterior neck and CNS module

Saturday and Sunday

June 23rd and 24th

Upper limb and vertebral column module

Saturday and Sunday

July 21st and 22nd

Thorax, abdomen and internal pelvis module

Saturday and Sunday

August 25th and 26th

Formal Identification and oral viva examinations

Contact Hours

The postgraduate training course will consist of 80 contact hours and 200 hours of self directed learning.

Course Location

The course will be conducted in the Anatomy Laboratory in the Medical Sciences West Building (MSW - level 3), University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308.

Course Meals

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided on each day of the course. For specific dietary requirements please contact Josephine Smith.

Dates for 2018 applications

Close of applications: Friday December 8th, 2017
Advisement of acceptance into the ASAPT Course: Friday December 15th, 2017

Please Note: Places in the 2018 course will be limited to 24 candidates.


An application process is required. Consideration will be given to applicants intending to undertake the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Surgical Sciences Examination.
N.B. In Step 2 of the Online Application Form, please upload your current CV and complete the question 'What do you hope to gain from this course?'

Terms & Conditions

  1. An administration fee of $500 will be deducted from any refunds. No refunds will be made under any circumstances unless cancellation is received in writing more than five (5) working days prior to the course commencement.
  2. ASAPTC reserves the right to cancel a program and will endeavour to provide participants with as much notice as possible. Upon cancellation, any fees already paid by the participant will be fully refunded.
  3. Full payment must be made prior to commencement of the course.

The full price for the Advanced Surgical Anatomy Postgraduate Training Course is $9,000.
At the time of an offer of acceptance into the ASAPT Course is made, details on payment methods and dates will also be provided.
Payment for the 2018 course will be received in January, 2018.


About the Course Convenor

Josephine Smith has been teaching Anatomy in the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, since 2006. Josephine has extensive experience in course coordination, lecturing, anatomy demonstration, student supervision (Year 5 Medicine Special Studies Option - anatomical dissection), and the provision of continuing education opportunities in Anatomy for professional groups (Hunter New England Health Surgical Training Programme, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Podiatrists).

Contact for Further Information

Josephine Smith
MPhty, DipGrad Physiology, Dip Phty

Lecturer in Anatomy,
Discipline of Anatomy,
School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Life Sciences Building, Room 2-37
University of Newcastle
Callaghan

Phone: 02 4921 6310
Email: Josephine.Smith@newcastle.edu.au

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