The lack of clinical residents especially in the surgical domains, including orthopaedics and trauma surgery, is not only omnipresent but also a topic of lively discussions. This lack originates from sociopolitical and healthcare policy issues as well as from a loss of attractiveness of all surgical disciplines. The loss is caused by the high workload and disadvantageous working hours especially in those disciplines with a high rate of emergencies, e.g. trauma surgery. Moreover, it is caused by the poorly structured and unpredictable period of residency. In order to anticipate the bottleneck in supply due to the lack of trainees, a number of structural and contextual measures have to be taken to improve both undergraduate und postgraduate surgical training. Due to the numerous facets of the topic the first part of this analysis refers to the period until the trainee decides on the field of training.A basic insight into the field of orthopaedics and trauma surgery can already be offered far before the period of medical studies itself. During undergraduate medical education the existing structures should be modified, the characteristics of the discipline should be emphasized and the charm of combining theory and practical skills should be highlighted in order to enhance student's perception of the discipline. This might begin during preclinical training and should be continued throughout clinical training and elective courses (basic wound care, TEAM approach, AO course for students and seminars for M.D. candidates). Contextual and structural improvements of the practical year are indispensable to arouse students' interest in our discipline. These options conjoined with the actual offers for students provided by our scientific society, such as guided tours during the annual congress, travelling grants and the recently inaugurated summer school, might provide the basis for clearly structured information and offer a distinct stimulus to apply for residency in our field.