Background: The development towards a combined speciality of orthopaedic and trauma surgery requires not only consolidation and revision of the postgraduate education training programme but also the development of a catalogue of learning objectives as a uniform basis for undergraduate medical training in the new speciality at German medical schools and teaching hospitals.
Materials and methods: Based on the Frankfurt catalogue of learning objectives for trauma surgery and the Ulm catalogue of learning objectives for orthopaedics, a task force of experts developed a combined catalogue of learning objectives for the new speciality. Experts from both specialities classified the learning objectives into two levels of knowledge and four grades of skills competence, in addition to objectives for attitudes and social competence.
Results: The section on general operative specialities contains 120 items classified into 39 learning objectives for knowledge and 83 for skills. Two learning objectives comprise both knowledge and skills. The section on orthopaedic and trauma surgery comprises 141 learning objectives, including six items for skills and 138 for knowledge, as well as three learning objectives for both knowledge and skills. In addition, 22 learning objectives deal with aspects of attitude and social competence.
Conclusion: Although this alliance of orthopaedics and trauma surgery is recent, the commission has developed not only a collection of topics but a joint catalogue of learning objectives for undergraduate training that can be used nationwide. This catalogue paves the way for modern education that looks to the future. The integrated recommendations for content prioritisation, links to other subjects and specialities, and the integration of didactic methods facilitate local implementation of the learning objectives without loss of academic freedom.