Choosing a hand surgeon
Australia does not have a formal training program for hand surgery, and the Medical Council and Royal College do not recognise it as a separate surgical specialty. This will undoubtedly change at some point in the future.
Currently, any surgeon can operate on the hand, but their interest and knowledge of hand surgery will vary enormously.
The points below will guide you towards an appropriately trained surgeon:
- Registered specialist in either plastic or orthopaedic surgery
- Has undertaken post-Fellowship training in hand surgery
- Entire current practice is hand surgery
- Is an Active Member of the Australian Hand Surgery Society
- Works only with AHTA-registered hand therapists
You might also check their philosophy is clearly stated, and suits you.
It's OK to bring a list of questions, and expect them all to be answered before you leave.
Questions to ask about hand surgery
- What are the non-surgical treatment options?
- What is the expected outcome?
- What are the risks?
- What rehab/hand therapy is required?
- What is the effect on work/driving/sports etc?
- Out-of-pocket costs?