As residency training programmes around the globe move towards competency-based medical education (CBME), there is a need to review current teaching and assessment practices as they relate to education in orthopaedic trauma. Assessment is the cornerstone of CBME, as it not only helps to determine when a trainee is fit to practice independently, but it also provides feedback on performance and guides the development of competence. Although a standardised core knowledge base for trauma care has been developed by the leading national accreditation bodies and international agencies that teach and perform research in orthopaedic trauma, educators have not yet established optimal methods for assessing trainees’ performance in managing orthopaedic trauma patients.
This review describes the existing knowledge from the literature on assessment in orthopaedic trauma and highlights initiatives that have recently been undertaken towards CBME in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
In order to support a CBME approach, programmes need to improve the frequency and quality of assessments and improve on current formative and summative feedback techniques in order to enhance resident education in orthopaedic trauma.
Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;98-B:1320–5.