Educational challenges in vascular surgery: An Australasian response

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In Australia and New Zealand, training requirements in vascular surgery have substantially changed since 2002. Training in general surgery is no longer required. Trainees in vascular surgery need to be competent in open vascular surgery and in performing and interpreting vascular ultrasound imaging. They must also master a full range of endovascular procedures, including cannulation of arteries, and angioplasty and stenting procedures, and endoluminal repair of aneurysms with stent grafting. Applicants complete a rigorous selection process and are ranked nationally. Training is started in postgraduate year 3 or at any time beyond that. The 5-year program is the competency-based surgical education training (SET) program. The trainees sit an examination at the end of the SET 1 and also an exit examination in SET 5. Before the final examination, the trainees must have performed 400 major cases as primary operators and 150 peripheral percutaneous interventions. In addition they must satisfy the requirements of the on-line in-service examinations and show adequate ultrasound case volumes and completion of research projects.

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