Fellowship in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery

  • The RCH cardiac unit accepts qualified cardiac surgical trainees as senior fellows, preferably for a period of one year. We typically employ three fellows at one time, and qualified applicants from all countries are invited to apply.

    During the course of the year spent with us, a fellow can expect to acquire experience in pre, intra and postoperative management of all paediatric cardiac problems. There is an emphasis on complex and neonatal surgery. The unit also performs cardiopulmonary transplantation, circulatory support, and ECMO for non-cardiac problems. Applicants are expected to have some previous experience in paediatric cardiac surgery, as this job requires a significant commitment to post-operative management. Likewise, applicants should have had significant operative experience in either adult or paediatric cardiac surgery, and are expected to be technically facile. Experience as primary surgeon at the Royal Children's Hospital will depend heavily on this factor, as well as a fellow's commitment to care of the patient outside the operating theatre.

    There is ample opportunity for clinical research in the unit, and all fellows are expected to participate in preparation of a manuscript for presentation at an international meeting and/or publication..

    Our fellow's positions are highly competitive, and typically only 1 in 10 applicants will be successful. Therefore, although we would like to accommodate the many qualified surgeons who write to us, this will not always be possible. We therefore encourage you to apply to other units as well to avoid disappointment in your training. We usually reserve our fellow's positions for trainees who are planning on a career primarily in paediatric cardiac surgery.


    The Cardiac Surgery Unit at the Royal Children's Hospital is internationally recognized as a leading centre for its clinical results as well as for research and education. It has affiliations with the University of Melbourne with four department staff members holding Honorary Fellowships. The Cardiac Surgery unit together with the cardiology unit is hosting the Australia and New Zealand Children's Heart Research Centre within the MCRI.

    The departments of cardiology, cardiac surgery and intensive care at Royal Children's Hospital combine to provide one of the largest and most comprehensive paediatric cardiac services in the world.  Approximately 650 cardiac operations are performed annually. The most complex of procedures, including The Norwood operation for Hypoplastic left heart syndrome are performed at Royal Children's, which also hosts the National Paediatric Cardiac Transplantation Centre.  The Cardiac surgery unit is recognised worldwide for its contributions to education, having trained fellows from more than 20 countries over the past three decades.  The Fellowship is available to suitable Australian and overseas candidates with appropriate qualifications.

    The Fellowship is designed to provide occupational training for those Cardiac Surgeons who have carried out their preliminary training and obtained a Fellowship of a Royal College or equivalent overseas Postgraduate Diploma, and who wish to specialise in paediatric Cardiac Surgery. 

    The training will enhance the trainee's qualification and ability in their home country.  In most countries all specialists are encouraged to do a recognised Fellowship and appointment to consultant's posts are dependent on the candidate having performed such a Fellowship.  The Cardiac Surgery Unit at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, is a major paediatric cardiac department of world standing.  The Fellowship is recognised as a leading post for occupational training in this specialty, annually attracting up to seventy applicants for this position.

    The Royal Children's Hospital itself is a specialist paediatric hospital and provides a full range of clinical services, tertiary care and health promotion prevention programs for children and adolescents.  The hospital is the major specialist paediatric hospital in Victoria and also cares for children from Tasmania, New Zealand and from other states around Australia and overseas.

    As the major paediatric hospital in Victoria, The Royal Children's Hospital provides clinical, academic and advocacy services for children and young people throughout the state.  It is internationally recognised as a leading centre for research and education.

    The hospital was established in 1870 and has been located on its present site at Parkville in Melbourne since 1963.  It has 250 beds, and treats approximately 32,000 in-patients per year with a total of 280,000 children seen in the hospital annually.

    Activities of the Fellow

    Ward rounds

    The Fellow will carry out daily ward rounds and these ward rounds will, at least twice a week, be carried out as a formal teaching ward round supervised by a member of the consultant staff.

    Operations and investigative procedures

    The trainee will, under supervision, operate upon the various conditions already listed and assisted at operations on these conditions.  He or she will also carry out, under supervision as necessary, investigative procedures of these conditions.  The Fellow will be involved in theatre work on daily basis.


    Regular auditing of results is carried out in the Department during weekly ward rounds and during the weekly Case Conference.  Regular reviews of the results of our treatment are carried out by various members of the Department with the assistance of Fellows.

    Weekly cardiac multidisciplinary meeting

    The Cardiac Surgery Department conducts a series of one to one weekly meetings which include:-

    Cardiac surgery review and planning

    Weekly assessment of a combined Cardiac Surgery & Cardiology Conference

    These one-to-one assessments will be documented on the Royal Australian College of Surgeons Formal Assessment form.

    The weekly Conference includes the presentation of Cardiac Cases difficult problem cases and the discussion of management by members of the Consultant Staff both Cardiac Surgeons and Cardiologists.  Fellows are freely involved in the discussion of the surgery and management of these patients and given guidance.  There is a monthly Mortality & Morbidity meeting carried out by the Fellow on a rotational basis which is purely of a teaching and educational nature.  Teaching ward rounds occur at least twice a week and the attention is given to discussion of management of patients during these ward rounds.


    The trainee will be involved in the teaching of Residents and Registrars.  The teaching will be carried out both formally and informally; formal teaching sessions of medical students by Fellows takes place on a regular basis whilst the students are within the Hospital. 


    The Fellow will carry out several research projects during their 12 months in the Department.  These projects are decided upon by discussion between the Fellow and members of the Department.  Research is supervised by the designated supervisor of training who ensures that the work is carried out adequately and arranges for its ultimate publication.  The research is generally clinical research, though facilities are available for laboratory research. 

    How to apply

    1. Complete the application form in full (typed only)
    2. Attach an up to date CV that includes
      1. Appointments held
      2. Intended career pathway
      3. Research experience
      4. Publications
      5. Academic achievements
      6. General interests
      7. Passport photograph
    3. Photocopy of your English Test. In order to be eligible to apply for a Fellowship and to work in Australia, all applicants must provide an English test that meets the AHPRA requirements.  All doctors who have completed their secondary education in any country (other than the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand and South Africa) are required to do so.  Please refer to the AHPRA website for further information. 
    4. Photocopy of original medical degree (translated in English if not originally in English)
    5. Ensure that two references (as indicated in the application form) are either attached or forwarded directly. The references must indicate support for this post and be no more than a few months old at time of application.

    We prefer to receive all communication by e-mail. Please return your application via email to: diana.josevska@rch.org.au

    Application assessment

    • Email confirmation of receipt of application will be given
    • No application will be processed if incomplete
    • Decision on selection is made by the Director of the Cardiac Surgery Unit and will take between six to twelve months
    • It is recommended to apply up to two years in advance for Fellowship positions as it is a long process involving a lot of paperwork and correspondence.


    Members of our department are present at most major international cardiac surgical meetings and would be happy to meet you and perhaps answer other questions. Likewise we have many  former RCH fellows working around the world and you may be able to talk to one of them regarding particulars of the fellow's job at the RCH.

    Feel free to contact us anytime regarding any Cardiac Surgical Training Enquiries