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Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery (2015)

Preface to the 2015 curriculum

In September 2006 the first Trauma and Orthopaedic (T&O) competence based curriculum was approved by PMETB. In 2010 the present version was completed and approved by PMETB. The main change from the 2006 version was the inclusion of an early years curriculum for CORE training.

The 2015 edition is an attempt to refine the vast amount of work undertaken to write the 2006 and 2010 versions and to reflect changes in T&O as well as training in postgraduate medicine in general.

In its regulatory role, the General Medical Council (GMC) has published a number of documents defining various areas of postgraduate training. The Trainee Doctor (GMC, 2011) and Recognising and Approving Trainers: the implementation plan (GMC 2012) in effect form part of the T&O curriculum as they define foundations of training in the UK.

The main change for T&O since the 2010 curriculum has been the merging into ISCP. Although much of the content of the 2015 curriculum is similar to the previous versions there are several areas that are generic to the training of surgeons in general. However, having said that, T&O maintains its identity as one of the largest surgical specialties, and the authors of this curriculum version regard the curriculum as being owned by T&O trainees and trainers.

Trauma and orthopaedics has managed to resist a division of the specialty and so the principle of this curriculum is that all trainees will be trained in the generality of T&O, with an opportunity to develop a specialty interest in the later years of training and indeed post-CCT. Training in trauma is equally as important as training in elective orthopaedics, with the single aim of ensuring that all new CCT holders are able to manage trauma from the day they are appointed as consultants.

Much of the work in this version of the curriculum is a refinement of previous versions but we have focused on the requirement for trainees to extend the range of workplace based assessments (WBAs) that are used for formative assessment and placed a greater emphasis on feedback and reflection in the assessments. There is also a curriculum defined level of involvement in quality improvement projects. Simulation is highlighted as an important aspect of training that will increase in significance over the next 5 years. The evolving relationship between T&O and Plastic Surgery in the training for hand surgeons is specifically identified by the inclusion of the hand interface syllabus.