Surgery is still considered the most effective and definitive skin cancer treatment. The Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Surgery is ideal for acquiring and honing various surgical techniques, including how to perform large elliptical excisions and different types of flaps and grafts. This will allow you to manage more complex skin cancer cases in your practice.
This course is the first part of the three-part Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Surgery. The education pathway is Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Surgery (online course components + practical workshop) or Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Surgery Principles (online course components only), Advanced Certificate of Skin Cancer Surgery and Professional Diploma of Skin Cancer Surgery.
The course provides advanced learning in skin cancer surgery and teaches various techniques allowing GPs to treat more complex cases in the primary care setting. Course participants can choose to complete the course entirely online or with an optional practical workshop.
- Surgical anatomy and skin lines
- Local anaesthetic blocks
- Large elliptical excisions*
- Advanced suturing techniques*
- Rotation flaps*
- Advancement flaps*
- Full-thickness grafts*
- Dog ear repairs*
- Wound care and various dressings
All topics are covered online and during the web live tutorials. *These topics are also covered during the hands-on practical sessions in the optional skills workshop. Course graduates also receive ongoing post-course support through regular alumni webinars.
Choose Your Delivery Format
The course is delivered fully online with the option to attend an eight-hour practical workshop. The modules are set up in such a way that you are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay video lectures at your convenience. The suggested timeline is weekly learning over 15 weeks, with 12 weeks of teaching followed by the submission of required activities. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online.
- Commence your course anytime online, access all course content instantly and study at your own pace.
- Reinforce your learning, participate in case discussions, follow along procedure demonstrations, and ask any questions in webinars with presenters.
- Complete your assessment online and receive your CPD points and certificate.
Online + Workshop
- Complete your course fully online and receive all of the benefits of online study.
- Receive your CPD points and certificate.
- Cement your knowledge in the accompanying workshop with hands-on training, demonstrations and expert guidance in a small group setting on a date and location of your choice.
Entry Requirements and Course Requisites
The Professional Certificate of Skin Cancer Surgery is ideal for Medical Doctors and International Medical Graduates wishing to learn important surgical techniques in the management of skin cancer to provide effective treatments to patients in the primary care setting, without the need for referral to specialists. Participants can expect an interactive, hands-on program with immediate applicability and the confidence to surgically treat skin lesions in their practice.
The course is suitable for Medical Doctors and International Medical Graduates. HealthCert recommends that participants have some exposure to or previous training in skin cancer management before enrolling in this course.
Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing in English is assumed.
Module 1 – Theory, Anatomy and Principles of Skin Cancer Surgery
This module introduces the theory and anatomical considerations relating to basic skin cancer surgery. It outlines the clinical requirements including how to set up the procedure room, the instruments and other equipment and supplies. The module incorporates skin anatomy and skin tension lines when considering the position and direction of an ellipse. The principles of, and how to do an ellipse are covered including undermining, haemostasis, suturing, dressings and aftercare. The suturing section incorporates the various types of sutures and needles. Skin anatomy and significant nerves are discussing including symptoms of damaged nerves. The later part of the module covers the importance of taking photos, procedural notes and patient consent.
Module 2 – Suturing, Perfecting the Ellipse and Local Anaesthetic
This module builds on the foundation knowledge taught in module one. This includes essential skills in knot tying, administering local anaesthetic, the role of diathermy/electrosurgery, surgical margins, instruments and surgery preparation. It then goes through the planning and design of an ellipse that includes cleaning the pork belly, loading a scalpel blade, marking out, excising and undermining an ellipse. The various common sutures are demonstrated including interrupted, deep, vertical mattress, horizontal mattress, pulley, marini and running sutures. Descriptions are provided on what each suture option is used for to determine the best sutures for closing a particular wound.
Module 3 – Skin grafting and the Principles of Flaps
This module introduces the skin graft technique, explains the difference between full thickness and split skin grafts, how they work and the stages of graft survival. The rationale for choosing the most appropriate skin graft when performing skin cancer surgery is outlined. The modules takes a step by step approach from excising the tumour to harvesting and closing the donor tissue site. Suitable techniques for suturing the donor tissue into the defect are discussed. Surgery preparation including patient considerations and maximizing the wound environment for skin healing. The module includes a practical demonstration on the practical implementation of planning skin grafts using pork belly. It includes how to plan skin grafts based on the size of the defects, the donor area and preserving tissue during the procedure. Depending on the type of lesion, information is provided on when to perform a skin graft as opposed to wedge excision on the ear.
Module 4 – Pivotal (rotation) Flaps
This module focusses on pivotal flaps, the theory, principles and then practical demonstrations on pork belly. The fundamentals are discussed including what is a skin flap, options for closure and aesthetic considerations. Potential complications are outlined. In the practical planning section, the design of rotation flaps including graphical images, assists with the planning of rotation flaps. The primary movement is for the flap to rotate into the defect with a leading edge, whilst the secondary movement is the arc defect resulting as an effect of the primary intention. With rotation flaps, dog ears are likely and techniques to remove dog ears are included. Degrees of rotation limitations are mentioned. Both schematic and clinical images assist with understanding rotation flap principles. Information on suture approach and placement are outlined for the rotation flap defect. Clinical cases are featured throughout the module.
Module 5 – Rhombus (rhomboid) Flaps
This module focusses on rhomboid flaps and opens with theory of this transposition flap, the principles and then practical demonstrations on pork belly. The fundamentals are discussed including what is a skin flap, options for closure and aesthetic considerations. The importance of appropriate undermining is detailed. Careful patient evaluation, design planning and skilful meticulous technique are critical in minimizing complications. In the practical planning section, the schematics of rhomboid flaps including graphical images, assists with the planning of rhomboid flaps. The primary movement is the transposing of the flap tissue over and into the defect, whilst the secondary movement is the donor or adjacent tissue defect created as a result of the primary transposition. With rhomboid flaps, dog ears are likely and techniques to remove dog ears are included. Both schematic and clinical images assist with understanding rhomboid flap principles. Information on suture approach and placement are outlined for the rhomboid flap defect. Modified rhomboid flaps are introduced.
Module 6 – Advancement Flaps
This module focusses on advancement flaps and variations of the advancement flap including single and helical advancement, A-T, H-plasty and lateral advancement. Selecting the type of flap depends on the location of the defect and optimising aesthetic outcomes. Clinical case images demonstrate the marking out and planning of advancement flaps considering skin tension lines and then closing the wound. Unit two discusses the mathematic rules applied to advancement flaps. It includes practical demonstrations of advancement flaps using pork belly including undermining and outlining the suturing approach. Several advancement flap variants are also demonstrated on pork belly.
Module 7 – Wound care and Managing Complications
The module commences with understanding the phases of wound healing and how this relates to skin cancer surgery procedures. The various types of wound dressings are outlined including what dressings are used for a particular type of wound. Information on the use of antibiotic medications, movement whilst wounds are healing and considerations of when to remove sutures are outlined. Resources that can be applied for clinical use are provided. Unit two outlines what to do to manage complications that may occur. These include bleeding, haematoma, dehiscence, infection, splitting sutures, hypertrophic and keloid scarring and hypergranulation. Unit three introduces Mohs surgery, explains its application for pathology and its relevance to skin cancer surgery. Unit four discusses Medicare Australia and remuneration for skin cancer surgery procedures. Unit 5 outlines the medico legal considerations in Australia and the role of medical insurance.
Module 8 – Case Studies
This module is an interactive opportunity to receive expert feedback on planning skin cancer surgery. A recording is presented for each of the six case studies describing the patient and the lesion that requires skin cancer surgery. Participants are asked to draw their surgery plans for each case including margins, and consider specific issues that may relate to that surgery or suggest other treatment options. A template guide is provided for each case.
For your one-off investment, you will receive unlimited access to all course content, additional learning materials, ongoing post-course support and more.
- Online pre-course activity to be completed in your own time.
- Eight online video modules to be viewed, replayed and completed at your convenience.
- All presentation slides and further learning materials available for permanent access and download.
- Instruments and consumables for practical sessions in the optional practical workshop.
- Post-course online assessment to be completed in your own time within six months of the course start date.
- Ongoing post-course support in monthly webinars with the opportunity to discuss cases with course presenters.
- Access to the HealthCert Community with additional free learning opportunities, special offers and other benefits.
In order to meet the requirements of professional and academic learning, the course assessment includes a professional requirement and two online examinations. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online within six months of the course start date.
- Develop a one-page report/explanation of how you will use the learning from this course in your professional work.
- 88 knowledge questions based on a scenario of a medical practitioner undertaking special interest training.
- 11 per module, Example: The medical practitioner believes that 10% of the population … Is he correct? Yes/No
- 88 authentic scenario based questions based on cases of patient care at a clinic.
- 11 per module
- Example: A patient arrives at your clinic with this problem … What should you do? Multiple choice images based on patient cases.
The knowledge-based examination is worth 50 per cent and the application-based examination is worth 50 per cent. The overall pass mark is 80 per cent. It is therefore not possible to pass this course on knowledge alone. Knowledge must be successfully applied to patient cases in order to pass the course.
If you choose to attend the optional practical workshop and there is cause for postponement or you cannot travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, full workshop refund, transfer or alternative learning opportunities will be available for you. View full refunds and cancellation policy.
Condition on Sale
- Enrolments in HealthCert Education courses are sold subject to these and any other additional conditions of admission as provided in the course information detailed on our website/s.
- Should you be unable to participate in the course, please email [email protected]
- The following conditions will apply to any changes to enrolments and clinical attachments that have been paid and confirmed.
Face to Face Courses
- Course transfers for Face to Face practical workshops are available, subject to requests being received, in writing, a minimum of 10 business days prior to workshop commencement. Transfer requests received after 10 business days prior to workshop commencement will incur an Administration Fee of $250.
- Transfers will be subject to availability in the future workshops. If the future workshop has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the transfer request.
- One workshop transfer, per course is allowed. Further transfers will be considered upon application and may be charged at 25% of a full new workshop booking rate.
- Transfers for Online courses are available subject to requests being received, in writing, within 7 days of enrolment. Transfer requests received after the 7 days post enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $200. One course transfer request, per course is allowed.
- If the future course being transferred to, has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the course transfer request.
Online Cancellations and Refunds
Cancellation and a full refund of the course fees will be provided if a request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250. Upon cancellation and full refund of the course enrolment, you will not receive a certificate or accreditation points.
Courses purchased as part of a bundle attract a discount. This discount is apportioned to the final course in the bundle in the cases of cancellations and refunds. Therefore, cancellation and refund requests of a course that have been purchased as part of a bundle are refunded based on the first and/or second course being charged at the full price rate. Any courses remaining in the bundle can be refunded provided the request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250.
Deferred Payment Terms
Courses purchased as part of a bundle with a deferred payment will be eligible for release of certificate in stages based on the payment schedule. For the release of the final certificate the bundle must be paid in full.
Certificate and CPD points can be released as follows:
- Course 1 - Upon 33% payment of total deferred payments received and course completed, certificate to be released and CPD points uploaded
- Course 2 - Upon 66% payment of total deferred payments received and course completed, certificate to be released and CPD points uploaded
- Course 3 - Upon 100% payment of total deferred payments received and course completed, certificate to be released and CPD points uploaded
- The clinical attachment program is aimed at qualified general practitioners who have completed the relevant HealthCert courses (or equivalent). Places are subject to availability and clinic schedules.
- Cancellation and a full refund of the fees will be provided if a request is received, in writing, a minimum of 10 business days prior to commencement. Refund requests received after 10 business days prior to commencement will incur an Administration Fee of $250. Cancellation requests post commencement will not result in a refund.
- If the Workshops or Clinical Attachments are cancelled for reasons outside the reasonable control of HealthCert Education Pte Ltd, the booking fee will not be refunded however an alternate place may be arranged with a future Workshop at the sole discretion of HealthCert Education Pte Ltd.
Please contact the Provider directly or follow the ticket selection button to the Course Provider Website for full terms and conditions.
Lecture and Assessment
12 Hours Lecture
Dr. Francis Tan
MBBS, MMed (Skin Cancer) Certificate in Advanced Dermoscopy & Digital Imaging, The University of Queensland Skin Cancer Doctor at Coorparoo Skin Cancer Centre
Dr Francis Tan graduated from The University of New South Wales in 1986. He worked in a variety of general practice surgeries throughout Australia, including clinics in Sydney, Tweed Heads, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Cairns. He now practises at the Coorparoo Skin Cancer Centre in Brisbane.
Francis obtained a Masters of Medicine from The University of Queensland in 2014 and holds an impressive portfolio of university-certified Professional Diplomas in Skin Cancer Medicine and related fields. He is particularly interested in using dermatoscopy to detect melanoma in situ and performing skin cancer surgery to the best of his ability for the benefit of his patients.
Dr. Tony Dicker
MBBS PhD Senior lecturer (Skin Cancer) & Course Coordinator MMed (Skin Cancer), The University of Queensland
Dr Tony Dicker has practised full-time Skin Cancer Medicine in Melbourne since 2004, and previously practised in Brisbane. He obtained his PhD from The University of Queensland in molecular biology of skin cancer with Professor Ian Frazer's group at Princess Alexandra Hospital. He then spent three years as a dermatology registrar at the Royal Brisbane and Princess Alexandra Hospitals.