Improving the future of surgical training and education: consensus recommendations from the Association of Surgeons in Training

Int J Surg. 2012;10(8):389-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2012.03.012. Epub 2012 Mar 24.


In the past decade surgical training in the United Kingdom (UK) has seen radical overhaul with the introduction of formal training curricula, competency based assessment, and a new Core Surgical Training programme. Despite this, and in common with many other countries, numerous threats remain to sustaining high-quality surgical training and education in the modern working environment. These include service delivery pressures and the reduction in working hours. There are numerous areas for potential improvement and dissemination of best training practice, from incentivising training within the National Health Service (NHS) through top-down government initiatives, to individualised information and feedback for trainees at the front-line. This document sets out the current structure of surgical training in the UK, and describes the contribution to the current debate by the Association of Surgeons in Training. Highlighting areas for improvement at national, regional, local and individual levels, the Association proposes 34 action points to enhance surgical training and education. Adoption of these will ensure future practice continues to improve on, and learn from, the longstanding history of training provided under the guidance of the Royal Surgical Colleges.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / trends*
  • Humans
  • Physicians
  • Societies, Medical
  • Specialties, Surgical / education*
  • Specialties, Surgical / trends
  • United Kingdom