Future of Surgical Training: ASiT Consensus Statement

Future of surgical training - front cover

The Future of Surgical Training:

ASiT Consensus Statement

ASiT have revised and up-dated this wide-ranging document addressing the future of surgical training, which is now published open-access as a FREE DOWNLOAD in the International Journal of Surgery. See below for the details and link.

The objective of this consensus statement is to succinctly present the views of surgical trainees in relation to the changes required within surgical training to improve training quality, and improve the standards of the end-product of surgical training – the Consultant Surgeon.  These changes are essential in order that the NHS, and the patients under its care, can continue to benefit from the highest quality of surgical care.

The threats to surgical training are numerous. In particular, trainees have been concerned about the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) since its original introduction. In May 2006 we published a report on the impact of the EWTD in surgery highlighting concerns and actions required to limit potentially detrimental effects on surgical training. Subsequent surveys have reinforced these concerns.

Whilst many surgeons agree it may be theoretically possible to deliver higher surgical training within an average working week of 48-hours, this is not currently possible within the NHS, nor does it appear to be achievable in the foreseeable future. Such changes would require a fundamental change in the training culture of the health service and take considerable time and financial investment to implement.

ASiT has previously noted the troubling content of the ISCP Evaluation Report by Professor Michael Eraut. In April 2009 we published a response to this, and we believe the report correctly highlights the broad failings currently found in UK surgical training, many of which ASiT has sought to highlight for several years.

In light of these issues, current and future emphasis must therefore be placed on both the hours worked, as well as the training delivered within those hours.

This document therefore represents a definitive ‘wish list’, detailing factors that would facilitate, support and encourage high quality surgical training.

Views have additionally been sought from the relevant surgical sub-specialty trainee organisations via their ASiT Representatives. The resulting position statement represents the consensus opinion following discussion and ratification by ASiT Council, based on previous work by ASiT. 

This document is intended to present the view of ASiT with respect to the work and changes required, and in doing so stimulate debate with the other stakeholders involved in delivery of surgical training.

2012 Up-Date: the 'Future of Surgical Training' document has been up-dated and revised for 2012. An open-access copy of this is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD from the International Journal of Surgery:

J.E.F. Fitzgerald, C.E.B. Giddings, G. Khera, C.D. Marron. Improving the future of surgical training and education: Consensus Recommendations from the Association of Surgeons in Training. International Journal of Surgery 2012; 10:389-392. ISSN 1743-9191, 10.1016/j.ijsu.2012.03.012. 




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Added on: 26th August 2010

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This page was last updated on 17-08-2012
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