Community and Health


Paediatric Surgeon

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Helping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5 Skill Level 6

Paediatricians provide care for children from birth to early adulthood across the health of infants, children, and teenagers. They specialise in diagnosing and treating a range of ailments including day-to-day illnesses, minor injuries and infectious diseases. FutureGrowthModerate

A paediatrician's day may involve emergency work dealing with life threatening conditions such as cystic fibrosis to simply comforting worried parents who have brought their child to hospital about a minor ailment.

ANZSCO ID & description: 253321: Investigates, diagnoses and treats internal diseases and disorders in children from birth up to, and including, adolescence. Registration or licensing is required.

Specialisations: Developmental and behavioural, Neonatal, Neonatologist, Paediatric haematology/oncology, Paediatric Thoracic Physician, Respiratory Medicine

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A paediatrician needs:

  • in depth knowledge of physiology, pathology, pharmacology and paediatric medicine and surgery

  • knowledge to diagnose and treat childhood injuries, diseases and illnesses

  • a desire to serve children (and parents) and a compassion towards others

  • to be able to engage children and gain their trust

  • to be able to handle the pressures and long hours of medical practice

  • an excellent bedside manner

  • exceptional communication skills

  • emotional stability and the self confidence to make decisions in emergencies

  • a willingness to continue to keep up with medical advances

  • to be an astute observer of the entire gamut of biopsychosocial issues affecting the children in their care

with child
 (Source: Look4 NZ)

Duties and Tasks

Paediatricians may do some or all of the following:

  • talk to patients and/or their caregivers

  • discuss patients' medical and developmental problems with patients and/or their caregivers

  • study patients' medical history

  • examine patients and carry out tests

  • use the results of tests and examinations to decide on treatments

  • prescribe and give medicine and other treatments

  • carry out certain procedures for diagnosis or care such as attaching life-supporting equipment

  • monitor results of treatment

  • advise patients and/or their caregivers on health care programmes

  • investigate causes of diseases

  • liaise with community services

  • advocate for nationwide health programmes beneficial to children and adolescents such as immunisation or healthy eating programmes

  • work and liaise with other health professionals to provide total health care for patients

  • be involved in social paediatrics and examine patients for any sign of child abuse (Source: Look4 NZ)

Working conditions

Most paediatricians practice in private or public settings or in a combination of the two. They usually work at least 50 hours a week with on-call responsibilities.

Paediatric student with patient
(Source: University of Western Australia)

Tools and technologies

Paediatricians need to be familiar with a variety of medical tools including:

  • forceps and clamps

  • laryngoscopes (infant)

  • medical oxygen masks (neonate, infant, child)

Technologies include databases and medical software.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a paediatrician, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in paediatrics.

In Australia, postgraduate courses in medicine usually take four years to complete. Entry requirements include completion of a bachelor degree in any discipline. You must also sit the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and attend an interview at your chosen institution. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

On completion of the postgraduate medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency). To then specialise in paediatrics, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.

Did You Know?

Paediatricians specialise in the treatment of neonates, infants,
children and adolescents. A minimum of six years full-time
advanced training through the Royal Australasian College of
Physicians is required to specialise in this area.

In 2016, there were 2,059 paediatricians employed in Australia,
of whom 26.4% worked in the private sector.

Demographics of clinicians
Males represented 51.8% of clinicians in 2016 and had an
average age of 52.2 years. Females represented 48.2% of
clinicians and were on average 5.5 years younger than male

(Source: Australian Government PDF)

Australian Government


Paediatric Surgeon
Community and Health


Helping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6


Paediatric surgeons are specialists that surgically treat chronic and life-threatening diseases, disorders and trauma in infants, children and adolescents. Paediatric surgeons can perform various procedures such as skin graft surgery for burns, surgery for fractured or broken bones, and surgery to correct Future Growth Static congenital disorders. They can also perform surgery to remove cysts and cancerous tumours and to treat serious injuries.

A career in pediatric surgery requires collaboration with neonatal specialists, pediatricians, and family physicians to determine the best course of treatment for the child, as well as communication with the child's family to ensure his or her pre- and post-operative safety.

ANZSCO ID: 253516

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Paediatric Surgeons must be able to speak very freely and with frantic to the parent regarding a child's medical status with much calm as possible, always trying to expect and try to understand the position of the parent.

Kind, compassionate, and tolerant are some of the qualities that a pediatric surgeon must have in order to perform theis job. As they work with kids, they have to be patient, because most of the kids will be scared, the surgeon have to possess ability to reassure a frightened child.

Along with proper training and certification, pediatric surgeons must have a keen interest in and concern for the needs of children and newborns. Because pediatric surgery involves treating patients in various stages of development, a clear understanding of child physiology and pharmacology is essential, as is an aptitude for extreme precision in treatment. A high degree of sensitivity is also important in interacting with families and patients.

Paediatric Surgeon
(Source: HealthEngine)

Duties and Tasks

  • Examines patients to determine the necessity of operations, estimates and explains risks to patients, and selects the best operational procedures.

  • Reviews reports on patients' general physical condition, reactions to medications and medical histories.

  • Consults with anaesthetists regarding the correct anaesthesia for patients.

  • Performs surgical operations.

  • Examines instruments, equipment, and surgical set-up to ensure that antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed.

  • Instructs other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients and instrument and equipment requirements.

  • Prescribes post-operative care, and observes and investigates patients' progress.

  • Maintains records of operations performed.

  • May specialise in particular types of operations.

Working conditions

Paediatric surgeons work in public and private hospitals as surgical specialists. They may also teach and supervise students, and conduct medical research. They may be required to work long shifts, odd hours and weekends. They may be required to be on call in case of an emergency.
Paediatric surgeons operate in completely sterile theatre rooms and must wear protective clothing.

Tools and technologies

Paediatric surgeons use a range of specialised surgical instruments while operating, such as forceps, scissors, retractors, contractors, clamps and scalpels that have been modified for use on infants and children. They can also use technologies such as intraoperative MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). They must wear sterile surgical attire while operating.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a paediatric surgeon, you must first become a qualified medical doctor and then specialise in paediatric surgery. To specialise in paediatrics, doctors must apply to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) to complete the Paediatric Surgery Surgical Education and Training Program and ultimately receive fellowship.

To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency).


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Material sourced from
Jobs & Skills WA [Paediatrician; Paediatric Surgeon];
Your Career [Paediatrician; Paediatric Surgeon;  ]




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