More than 4000 surgeons in Australia provide services to 17.6 million people living in the world's driest continent, with a land mass comparable to that of the United States. The problem of distance has been overcome in large part for the 17% of the population who live in remote areas by modern communication systems and by the Flying Doctor and Flying Surgeon services. For the remaining population, largely clustered on the fertile eastern seaboard, surgical services rival the best in the world, and surgical training, under the control of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, has set an example for which Australia can be justifiably proud.
(Arch Surg. 1994;129:13-20)