Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Institute of Academic Surgery

Academic appointment options


Traditionally any surgeon wanting to pursue an academic career has had three main appointment options to consider between the Hospital and University. This includes:

  • University salaried appointment with additional Hospital appointment (VMO)

  • Hospital appointment (VMO / Staff Specialist) and clinical academic title with no salary contribution from the University

  • Primary salaried appointment at the University with a Clinical Academic appointment at the Hospital for clinical services provided to public patients (40% of Staff Specialist salary).


While there are both advantages and disadvantages within each of these models, it is evident there has been a limited uptake of these appointments overall within the discipline of surgery.

The IAS promotes the view that the future of academic surgery depends on an innovative approach to appointing academic surgeons, and supports models that accommodate time for both clinical practice and academic pursuits. These include:

  •  Half-time University salaried appointment with additional Hospital appointment (VMO)

  • Surgical departments collaboratively funding a nominated surgeon or research coordinator by contributing one VMO hour per team member to support the development of a well-established surgical research program for the department.