Protected Title Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Protected Title Specialist Plastic Surgeon

What is my protected title as a plastic surgeon?

The protected title for a fully accredited plastic surgeon is “Specialist Plastic Surgeon”.

What does “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” mean?

According to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Medical Board of Australia, a Specialist Plastic Surgeon must be:

  • Accredited by the Australian Medical Council in the specialty of Plastic Surgery and;
  • Registered under National Law in that specialty.

All ASPS Members have the right to use the protected title of “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” and are encouraged to do so on their marketing and branding materials.

How is the title of “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” protected?

Sections 115 and 118 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 prohibit a person from knowingly or recklessly taking or using a specialist title for a recognised specialty unless the person is registered under the National Law in the specialty.

Moreover, a registered practitioner who does not hold specialist registration under the National Law may not use the title “specialist”, or through advertising or other means, present themselves to the public as holding specialist registration in a health profession. This includes the use of title, name, initial, symbol, word or description that indicates, or could be reasonably understood to indicate, that the person is a specialist, or is authorised or qualified to practice in a recognised specialty.

Can I use other professional titles?

A practitioner who holds specialist registration in an AMC recognised specialty is not limited to using only the specialist title approved by the Ministerial Council. A registered specialist may use any other title of their choice, as long as they do not present themselves as holding a type of registration (including specialist registration) that they do not hold.

Using ‘specialist’ title in the absence of specialist registration

When there is no specialist registration available to a health profession under the National Scheme, registered practitioners must take care in their use of professional titles. This is designed to avoid misleading the public into believing that a practitioner is a specialist when they are not.

Useful Sources/Links

Specialist Registration, AHPRA – Quick Reference

Medical Specialties and Specialty Fields, AHPRA approved list of specialties, fields of specialty practice and related titles

Guidelines for advertising of regulated health services, Medical Board of Australia

The National Law, the Law’s division on ‘Specialist Title’