Official Partner The Royal Society of Medicine


Surgical Specialities

Upon completing the Foundation Programme, trainees then have the option to complete two years of Core Surgical Training. The programme may be linked or themed to one speciality, or be structured as a general training programme. Once the core training is completed, the candidate can then progress to the six-year higher speciality training programme. All speciality training programmes are competence-based, and as such, candidates may take longer to complete programmes than the indicative timings in the syllabi suggest.

Division of Surgical Specialities

The surgical specialities are rewarding and varied, offering a balance between the physical interaction with patients, and the intellectual contribution to diagnosis. Surgeons can also see the results of their work in the shorter term, and much more frequently, but requires doctors to be extremely active in their approach to problem-solving.

There is also a wide range of different pathways through surgery, with nine different specialities from which to choose – all with a varying workload and on-call burden:


All surgical specialities allow some degree of sub-specialisation. Plastic Surgery, for example, allows subspecialisation in fields such as hand surgery, breast surgery, and paediatric plastic surgery.

There are also opportunities to go into management as a clinical lead, or to work in the education and training of junior doctors.


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