Perioperative medicine

Perioperative medicine is a key focus for the college, and is one of the pillars of our 2018-2022 strategic plan.

What is perioperative medicine?

Perioperative medicine (POM) is the multidisciplinary, integrated care of patients from the moment surgery is contemplated through to recovery. It involves:


  • Preoperative evaluation.

  • Risk assessment and preparation.

  • Intraoperative care.

  • Postoperative care (including monitoring, rehabilitation and post-discharge).

  • Communication and handover to primary care or referrer.

  • Coordination of personnel and systems.

  • Shared decision making.

Perioperative medicine aims to facilitate effective communication with the patient and their family to ensure that surgical outcomes align with their expectations and wishes.

The perioperative specialist will help patients navigate the healthcare system and co-ordinate their care by different clinicians and sub-specialties through shared decision making. The goal is to improve the patient experience, reduce postoperative complications, reduce inpatient hospital days and reduce early re-admissions following surgery. 

ANZCA Council approved a vision for the perioperative medicine program in February 2018. This vision and the ANZCA Strategic Plan 2018-2022 will guide and inform our work. 

You can find a good summary of "Where we have come from and where we are heading" in the March 2019 ANZCA Bulletin.

Perioperative medicine timeline

Having developed an agreed definition for perioperative medicine, the Perioperative Care Working Group (PCWG) has now described the patient journey from the contemplation of surgery to recovery.

This time line is providing the framework to further define and allow a systematic approach to the development of perioperative medical services. 

The perioperative medicine timeline can be downloaded and printed.

Frequently asked questions

This page provides responses to frequently asked questions about the proposed perioperative medicine qualification, including the reasons for its development; the likely course structure, duration, and eligibility requirements; and the timeframes.



ANZCA will regularly produce a communique to keep stakeholders informed of its progress in developing a formal qualification in perioperative medicine.


Bulletin articles  

Governance of perioperative medicine projects

We have formed a Perioperative Medicine Steering Committee that reports to ANZCA Council. The steering committee comprises representatives from ANZCA and other colleges reflecting the diverse nature of the perioperative space. It has established the following cross-college working groups, which will report their findings to the committee by mid-2019.

Perioperative Medicine Education Group (PMEG)

The PMEG will make recommendations on the type of education offerings that could be developed by ANZCA. As part of that work, the PMEG will recommend a definition of a perioperative specialist, develop a graduate outcome statement (that is, what a perioperative specialist will look like) and a curriculum framework, and identify potential learning opportunities. The group will align any education work with the International Board of Perioperative Medicine (IBPOM) syllabus.

Members of the PMEG include Dr Sean McManus, Co-Chair, (ANZCA/CICM, Qld), Dr Joel Symons Co-Chair (ANZCA, Vic), Dr Sarah Abbott (RACS, NZ), Dr Elizabeth Feher (RACP - geriatrician, Vic), Dr Bianca Wong (RACP - geriatrician, SA), Dr John Geddes (RACP - geriatrician, NZ), Dr Melissa Viney (ANZCA/FPM, Vic), Dr Dick Ongley (ANZCA/RACP, NZ), Dr Siva Senthuran (CICM/ANZCA, Qld), Dr Jennifer Woods (ANZCA, NZ), Ms Jodie Atkin (education consultant, NSW).

Perioperative Care Working Group (PCWG) 

The PCWG will recommend definitions of perioperative medicine and a perioperative medicine service. It will recommend the scope of a perioperative medicine service, identify the types of services currently available in Australia and New Zealand, and propose quality indicators for future services.

Members of the PCWG include Dr Jeremy Fernando, Chair, (ANZCA/CICM, Qld), Dr David Alcock (ANZCA, Tas), Dr Su Jen Yap (ANZCA, NSW), Associate Professor Arthus Flabouris (ANZCA/CICM, SA), Professor Guy Ludbrook (ANZCA, SA), Dr Simon Reilly (ANZCA/ASA, Vic), Dr Nicola Broadbent (ANZCA, NZ), Dr Eugene Wong (ACRRM, GPA, Qld), Dr Aisling Fleury (RACP - geriatrician, Qld), Professor Alison Mudge (RACP - general, Qld), Dr Rachel Aitken (RACP - geriatrician, Vic), Dr Margot Lodge (RACP - geriatrician, Vic), Dr Kathy McDonald (RNZGP,  NZ), Professor Michael Cox (RACS, NSW).


We are also working closely with the Perioperative Medicine Special Interest Group, which is publishing regular e-newsletter updates, to ensure that we leverage existing perioperative medicine relationships, knowledge and skills. 

What we've achieved so far



What’s next?

In 2019, the perioperative medicine program will focus on:

  • Developing a curriculum framework that will guide the development of ANZCA perioperative medicine education offerings. This will include a graduate outcome statement that defines what a graduate of any perioperative medicine education offering will be able to do.  

  • Considering perioperative models of care.

  • Using multi-speciality working groups to develops the definitions of perioperative medicine, perioperative medicine specialist and perioperative service to inform all future work.

  • Enhancing the perioperative medicine literature review. 

  • Engaging the ANZCA Research Foundation Committee and researchers to create interest in, and generate perioperative medicine research activity. 

By the end of 2019, we anticipate that we will be well-placed to develop an evidence-based and profession-supported education offering that will, over time, enhance patient safety through consistent perioperative care practices across Australia and New Zealand.

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