[Undergraduate education in orthopaedic and trauma surgery - a nationwide survey in Germany]

Z Orthop Unfall. 2011 Jan;149(1):27-32. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1250594. Epub 2011 Feb 16.
[Article in German]


Aim: Musculoskeletal conditions consume enormous resources and costs, and their incidence is increasing worldwide. Therefore, an appropriate education of medical students about these conditions is required. This study examines the extent of medical education in orthopaedic and trauma surgery in Germany.

Material and methods: A questionnaire comprising 7 topics (curriculum design, lecture, practical training, e-learning, examination, evaluation, resources) with a total of 44 items was sent to all assistant lecturers in orthopaedic and trauma surgery at the 37 medical schools in Germany.

Results: The survey attained a return rate of 76 % for orthopaedic surgery and 81 % for trauma surgery, respectively. Medical training in musculoskeletal conditions represents with an average of 38.4 hours of lectures and further 55.9 hours of practical training less than 6 % of the entire undergraduate medical education. This study demonstrates a high inhomogeneity regarding the curriculum design when comparing the different German medical schools not only in total training time but also regarding its contents. E-learning as additional teaching method is only offered in 39 % of orthopaedic training and in 47 % of the trauma surgery training. Practical examinations like the OSCE are offered at 8 medical schools for orthopaedic training and 15 schools for trauma surgical training, respectively.

Conclusion: Medical training in musculoskeletal conditions is very inhomogeneous and requires further improvement and standardisation regarding quantity and implementation.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / statistics & numerical data*
  • Germany
  • Orthopedics / education*
  • Orthopedics / statistics & numerical data
  • Traumatology / education*