School of Medicine

Department of Surgery - Teaching and learning

Undergraduate programme

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB)

There are four distinct phases in the undergraduate medical curriculum:

Phase Year Curriculum
Phase A Year 1 Health Science Foundation
Phase 1 Year 2 and 3 Fundamentals of Clinical Practice
Phase 2 Year 4 and 5 Clinical Practice in Context
Phase 3 Year 6 Medical Students Preparation for the Workforce

Surgical training is a component of all undergraduate medical students' education, and is predominantly focused during the second and third phases of study.

During Year 4: students are attached to two different specialised surgical teams for three weeks each, with additional lectures and tutorials.

During Year 5: students spend another four weeks attached to four specialty surgical teams. These attachments will vary dependent upon which of the clinical schools the student is based at. There is also an opportunity to further develop a students' surgical knowledge and skills during their four week 'selective', generally based within a New Zealand clinical setting.

During Phase 3 as a Trainee Intern (TI): students will spend six weeks on surgery attachments, typically on General Surgery wards, Speciality teams, and Emergency Medicine. Students negotiate the timetable of their rotation, allowing for further development within an area of interest. As a TI their elective placement may also involve surgery, either locally or overseas.


Honours degree

After the first three years of the MBChB, students may also choose to complete the Bachelor of Human Biology (Honours) - BHB(Hons).



Postgraduate study within the Department of Surgery is available for clinicians at any stage of their career. They can engage in research that will significantly contribute to the local and international medical and surgical research community as well as enhance their academic and professional development.


Basic and specialist surgical training

Around 90% of all surgeons practicing in New Zealand or Australia are fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). From 2008, a new Surgical Education and Training Programme (SET) will be launched, improving the quality and efficiency of surgical training through early selection into specialist training in one of the Nine specialty areas.

For more information visit the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)


Surgical Skills Training Centre

The Surgical Skills Training Centre is part of the Advanced Clinical Skills Centre situated at the Mercy Hospital in Auckland. It provides courses for junior and senior medical staff, theatre nurses, midwives and GPs in the disciplines of general surgery, gynaecology, obstetrics, orthopaedic and plastic surgery.

To register a course visit the Advanced Clinical Skills Centre.