This job is sometimes referred to as:
- Cardiothoracic Surgeon
- Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon
- General Surgeon
Surgeons consult with patients and operate on people to treat and manage disease and injuries.
Contact usCall us on 0800 222 733
To become a surgeon you need to:
- complete the Health Sciences First Year programme at Otago University, or the first year of either the Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Auckland University
- complete a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Otago or Auckland
- work for several years as a supervised junior doctor in a hospital
- complete another five to seven years of specialist training and examinations to become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
You also need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.
- University of Otago website - information about the Health Sciences First Year programme
- University of Otago website - information about the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
- University of Auckland website - information about the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons website - information about surgeon training
- Medical Council of New Zealand website - information about surgeon training
To enter tertiary training you need to have NCEA Level 3. Useful subjects include maths with calculus and/or statistics, chemistry, physics, biology and English.
Surgeons need to be:
- accurate and careful, with an eye for detail
- motivated and disciplined
- quick and efficient
- able to work well under pressure
- able to make good decisions, and solve problems
- good time managers
- excellent at analysis and interpretation
- good at report writing
- good at communicating and inspiring confidence in others
- understanding of other cultures' attitudes to medical treatment.
Dr Richard Keddell - Orthopaedic Surgeon
Useful experience for surgeons includes:
- work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in a clinic
- work caring for people.
Surgeons need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and good hand-eye co-ordination. They also need to have steady hands.
Surgeons must have a good level of stamina as some surgery can take many hours.
Surgeons need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.
View information on courses in the course database
Find out more about training
years of training required
Updated 10 Nov 2014