How to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon


The following were selected for the SET Programme in 2019: Jessica Mowbray, Ruth Tan, Lloyd Roffe, Neil Stewart, Bryden Nicholas, Joshua Knudsen, Richard Storey, Vahe Sahakian, Lincoln Nicholls, Dulia Daly, Robert English, Marla Ross, Lewis Aguis, Mustafa Saffi, Kenan Burrows

Selection Timetable for 2019

  • Selection registration to RACS opens Friday 4 January 2019 - 12.00pm AEDT
  • Selection registration to RACS closes Friday 1 February 2019 - 5.00pm AEDT
  • NZOA Selection applications open Wednesday 27 February 2019 - 12.00pm AEDT
  • NZOA Selection applications close Wednesday 27 March 2019 - 12.00pm AEDT
  • Referee reporting opens Thursday 25 April 2019 AEST
  • Referee reporting closes Wednesday 22 May 2019 - 5.00pm AEST
  • Interviews Friday 21 June 2019 
  • Announcement of offers will be made on Monday 2 July 2019

AEDT - Australian Daylight Saving Time 

AEST Australian Eastern Standard Time

You can only apply to 2019 Selection in Orthopaedic Surgery if you have been notified by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons that you are eligible.  

If you have any queries, please email

To become an orthopaedic surgeon an applicant must have a basic medical degree and at least two years post graduate experience. The training takes a minimum of five years where the trainee is employed as a registrar and rotated through a range of accredited New Zealand hospitals. The curriculum is a mixture of practical operating competencies, communication skills and formal theoretical examinations. Progress is reviewed annually by the NZOA Education Committee.  On successful completion the applicant will receive a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and be able to become vocationally registered as an orthopaedic surgeon with the New Zealand Medical Council. The training is completed jointly through the College (RACS) and the NZOA Education Committee, contact is through Prue Elwood.

Important notice for applicants to SET Selection from 2016 onwards

The NZOA Education Committee has recently agreed that all who apply for SET Selection from 2016 must have passed the Generic Surgical Science Exam (GSSE) prior to applying.  Details about the exam can be found on the RACS website 

All applicants must have pre-registered with RACS, even if they have previously applied. Applicants must be a NZ citizen or have NZ Residency and be registered with the NZ Medical Council.  In 2018 ten trainees were selected to begin training in December 2018.  

2019 Applications

It is important that you read the Selection  Regulations Surgical Education and Training Program Orthopaedic Surgery 2019 Intake BEFORE applying as these detail the Selection Process.   

Please note all applications are through our online application system.  

Open from 27 February 2019 to 27 March 2019

  • This form will allow you to enter all your application details and can be saved as you go. 
  • Access is login and password controlled.  
  • This form will allow you to browse and upload all your supporting documentation - you can add and delete attachments as required. 
  • It is recommended that you save as you move through the form.
  • Once you have completed a page check the box at the bottom of the page - you will be prompted for any missing information.
  • Once you have completed the form you can submit the form and it is recommended that you print each page for your records.
  • Please be aware that once you submit the form, you will no longer have any access.
  • No extensions will be granted, we recommend completing and submitting before the due date.
  • Your application will be acknowledged by NZOA and you will be invoiced for your application fee.
  • If you have any problems, concerns or questions please contact Prue Elwood at or 04 913 9898

Following links have further information