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Welcome to the Anatomy of Surgical Exposure Course!

Australia's best cadaver based training course!

James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry in association with The Cairns Surgical Society, Regional Medical Training and Queensland Health


The Anatomy of Surgical Exposure Course
Friday 14th, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July 2023
James Cook University, Smithfield Campus, Cairns, Queensland

This cadaver-based dissection course instructs surgical trainees and junior surgeons in the techniques of exposure commonly used in open surgical operations. It will be held in the modern anatomy laboratories at the Smithfield campus, under the supervision of experienced surgeons.

This is not primarily an anatomy teaching course; therefore a high degree of anatomical knowledge will be required for successful completion and candidates will be expected to perform procedures. A manual will be available to all registrants for pre-reading.

The curriculum will focus on open surgery. Candidates will be assisted with dissections and assessed on technical ability (knot tying, suture ligation, dissection and anastomosis), anatomical knowledge, and teamwork. The assessments will inform an individual de-briefing exercise at the end of the course. A certificate of completion will be issued at the conclusion of the course.

Alan De Costa FRACS
James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry, Cairns

Course Convenor


14th – 16th July 2023

(Friday to Sunday)


James Cook University

Nguma-bada Cairns Campus

McGregor Road, Smithfield


  • Please stay at home if you are unwell or have a cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath.
  • Please advise event officials and seek assistance if you become unwell during the event.
  • It is the responsibility of each individual to maintain physical distancing requirements.

Meet our Team

Experienced surgeons will guide you through three days of training.

Dr Merwe Hartslief


Meei Yeung


Julie Howle


Pranavan Palamuthusingam


Click on the photos to see their full bio.

Registration fees

... and what they include.


Successful Applicants in 2022

Includes a course manual and access to online videos, a set of scrubs, cap and a course dinner.

* A certificate of completion will be issued at the conclusion of the course.


Check out what previous participants say...

  • As tutors we look forward to being a part of this endeavour annually. It’s a privilege to have access to cadavers so we can support the development of our next generation of colleagues - an equally gratifying part of being a surgeon as the joy of treating patient! Steph’s hard work all year round is highly commendable! Hopefully, we’ll be there next year. Best wishes
    Anon Tutor
  • This was a great experience for me, being the first course I have ever been to! I had a great time and I learnt a lot! I will definitely be back!
    Anon Participant
  • A very useful course for trainees in General Surgery, to develop confidence
    Anon Participant
  • Very great exposure. Organised and friendly coordinators. Looking forward to attend other course next year!
    Anon Participant
  • The ASE remains one of few highly engaging courses with senior practising surgeon mentorship, excellent faculty to student ratio, covering a comprehensive general surgery curriculum.  The course is valuable to the junior trainee as an introduction to tissue handling, instruments and procedures, and even more so to an advanced trainee preparing to present for the Fellowship examination. The location is equally as impressive as the ASE course in tropical Cairns using state of the art James Cook University facilities. Candidates will gain both procedurally relevant and academic growth, and establish networks and relationships with experienced faculty that has lasting impact to their professional growth.
    Omar Mansour MBBS MIPH (Clin Ed) MSc (Surg Ed) FRACS
  • “I highly recommend this course for the surgical trainee looking to further their skills & experience in less common but vitally important open surgical exposures of emergency general, trauma and vascular surgery”.
    Andrew Hattam BSc(Hons).MBBS.GradDipAppAnatDiss.PhD
  • I attended this course as part of my preparation for the fellowship exam in general surgery and found it very worthwhile. The focus on surgical exposure made the content highly clinically relevant, both in terms of refreshing my knowledge of common procedures but also gaining a better understanding of the anatomy of operations that we do less frequently. It was also an enjoyable learning environment with engaging tutors and a good ratio of students to faculty meaning you were actively learning the whole time.
    Megan Thomas MBChB FRACS


Thank you to our past and present partners!

James Cook University would like to extend a warm thank you to Johnson & Johnson whose ongoing support enables continuing professional education for surgeons across Australia and beyond.

Interested in becoming a sponsor?


Also see…

Other courses from JCU