International training positions

  • The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne is a leading provider of specialist public health services for children and adolescents and is the major specialist Paediatric hospital in the state of Victoria. We care for children from Tasmania and southern New South Wales, as well as other states around Australia and overseas. RCH has an international reputation as a center of clinical excellence and is a state-wide teaching, training and research hospital providing quaternary child and adolescent health services. 

    Senior surgical registrar positions in the Department of Paediatric Surgery have the opportunity to be involved in a range of paediatric surgical specialties including colorectal, trauma, burns, urology, oncology, hepatobiliary, thoracic and transplant surgery. There is also involvement in general paediatric surgical care including all neonatal surgical conditions. The role of senior surgical registrar is a demanding one but provides great exposure to a wide variety of paediatric surgical conditions and an opportunity to greatly enhance one’s surgical training. This is a great platform for future paediatric surgeons and urologists.

    Positions run from August or October  for a 12 month period. They are most suitable for a senior trainee, ideally in the year prior or immediately after Fellowship examination. They are not suitable for established consultants or junior trainees.

    Applications are only be received through the RCH careers website and should include a covering letter, a current C.V. and a Letter of support from either a Paediatric Surgeon at your current hospital of employment or a Paediatric Surgical training supervisor. Applications for positions starting in August/October 2025 will open in February 2024.

    If any further information is required on the positions, please contact 

    Mr Michael Nightingale

    Clinical Director
    Department Of Paediatric Surgery
    The Royal Children’s Hospital

    Telephone       +61 3 9345 5801

    The RCH experience

    Dr Brendan O'Connor

    Ireland (and more importantly, Cork!)

    Shez, who I had the great pleasure of working with for the year, has below already very eloquently outlined the many merits of spending a year working in the Department of Paediatric Surgery at RCH and living in Melbourne. I can echo all these benefits and perhaps add to them, given that due to COVID I was afforded the incredible opportunity to spend a second year at RCH. I obviously jumped at this chance and if it were up to me, I would have never left. Ever since I started looking into international paediatric surgical training positions, this RCH job was at the top of my wish list. Having been lucky enough to work there, I can confirm that the experience surpassed all my hopes and expectations. It is an incredible hospital; modern, child-centric, welcoming, and very busy! Over 21 months I got to work with the three general surgical teams, each with their own subspecialty interests, and the urology service, being involved in almost 1400 procedures across the whole breadth of paediatric surgery and urology, and then some. You will be afforded ample opportunity to develop your operative independence in accordance with your abilities, and get the training you need to improve your competence and confidence, which is exactly what you need as a senior trainee preparing to transition to consultant practice. You would struggle find a more cohesive and supportive group of consultant trainers anywhere and this creates the perfect environment in which to hone and develop your skills. I can honestly say that my time at RCH was career-affirming. The teaching programme, enthusiastically supported by all of the consultants, several of whom have literally written the book on the subjects, is unparalleled.

    I didn’t get to see as much of Australia as I would have liked thanks to COVID, but it is a beautiful country and Melbourne is a fantastic city to live in. I have a good excuse to return to see it in the future though as I met my now fiancée at RCH during my time there. Whilst I can’t promise you will find love too, there’s always a chance! If anyone would like to chat to me about my time at RCH, ask Dr Nightingale to pass on my email and I’d be delighted to hear from you.

    Brendan OConnor

    Dr Shehryer Naqvi

    United Kingdom

    When you are a senior trainee and the opportunity to undertake an overseas fellowship arises – the Paediatric Surgical Overseas Fellowship at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne should be at the top of your list. It combines all of the essential ingredients needed to challenge and improve the senior paediatric surgical trainee and give them the confidence to take on a Consultant role. It is a busy centre for elective and emergency work, taking referrals from across Victoria. It encompasses a wide range of specialties – including oncology, hepato-biliary, thoracics and urology. A dedicated multi-disciplinary service in colorectal, burns and oncology enhances these specialties. You will be treated as one of the trainees – with equal opportunities to receive constructive and progressive feedback from expert trainers. The consultant body is cohesive and supportive giving you an excellent platform from which to improve your skills. Teaching that is delivered by some of the leaders in their field makes the RCH programme world-class. If you ever wondered where all the pictures in your core textbook come from – well, you’ll probably meet the author and see the pictures first-hand in Prof Hutson’s Thursday morning session. If you like to feel under pressure – just like in an exam – Wednesday morning neonatal teaching is for you. There is also the opportunity to get involved in research and audit work in the sub-specialty that interests you. Melbourne is a beautiful cosmopolitan centre and the sporting capital of Australia. In a year at the RCH a trainee can take in the Australian Open, the Australian Grand Prix, cricket, AFL and rugby. The team at the RCH felt like family after a year – and that isn’t something that can be said of every department. If you need a fellowship, this is the one to go for. 

    Shez International Training Image

    Dr Kate Burnand (and Agnes)

    United Kingdon

    The overseas paediatric surgery fellowship at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne is a fantastic experience for any senior trainee/fellow. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go as a UK trainee in the build up to my FRCS exam. It offers an invaluable experience of a different healthcare system. The case load is heavy with a good mix of daycase and index cases. As a tertiary and quaternary centre, it has a large neonatal unit, PICU and cardiac centre. It is the designated trauma centre in Melbourne and offers the full range of surgical services including surgical oncology, thoracics, HPB and complex urology. The teaching programme is second to none, there is a dedicated weekly neonatal grilling session and an hour of spot diagnoses from clinical photographs given by the legendary Professor John Hutson. The children's hospital is very close to the centre of Melbourne and during the year we made the most of opportunities to see the Australian Open Tennis, F1 racing, head to the inner city beaches, become coffee connoisseurs and even try and understand AFL as well as explore the rest of Australasia. Above all the team was great and is used to welcoming foreign trainees on a regular basis. I have hopefully formed some life-long friends and mentors which I will get the chance to catch up with at various meetings and conferences for the rest of my career.

    Dr Kate Burnand - United Kingdom

    Mr Maurizio Pacilli

    United Kingdom

    Working at RCH has been a fulfilling and inspiring experience, both professionally and personally. The high volume of patients, with busy elective and emergency operating sessions and exposure to an extensive variety of conditions allowed me to quickly boost my operating skills. The regular teaching, which was very well structured, has been crucial in preparation for the FRCS exam. The friendly consultants and other members of the staff, who were always approachable and pleasant to work with, made my whole experience very enjoyable. I feel I have become a better surgeon.

    Mr Maurizion Pacilli - United Kingdom

    Dr Jose Campos (bottom left)


    Melbourne is a fantastic city to live in, ranked high among the best in the world. It was a relief to find the family having a good time while I was working. Within the department the consultants are a cohesive, well organized and hard-working team, this provided me with a strong teaching agenda and a high volume of complex and interesting patients. In Melbourne you will find a solid paediatric surgical tradition to learn from, but at the same time you'll get the opportunity to get involved in cutting edge research. I was both able to develop my independence as paediatric surgeon, but also felt supported on the more challenging cases. RCH is a very busy place, the other registrars and fellows played a huge role during the difficult times and I'm glad I came out of this year with good friends as well. It was a great experience, wouldn't dare to deny how intense it gets at some points, but if you are up to the challenge of being part of a first class paediatric surgical team, I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did. I will look back happy for the time spent in Melbourne, the lessons learned and the friendships made.

    Dr Jose Campos - Chile

    Dr Lefteris Stathopoulos


    After a year in the Paediatric Surgery department, I leave with the invaluable lessons of revered surgeons, an appreciation of how the concepts of dedication and science can be applied to paediatric surgery, the experience of being part of a hospital on the move, and, not least, the memories of friends and laughs. And, for me, Australia will no longer be an island continent on the other side of the world.

    Dr Lefteris Stathopoulos - Switzerland