Orthopedics Today, February 2016
Anthony A. Romeo, MD
The education of orthopedic surgeons continues to evolve with most of the focus on the acquisition of knowledge and becoming proficient in the treatment of many complex musculoskeletal problems. Residents and fellows learn from faculty in a variety of settings and digital resources. Then after residency, orthopedic surgeons take their steps toward certification through examinations by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
However, the process to assess technical surgical skills is almost nonexistent and is certainly antiquated. The master-apprentice model of teaching surgical skills is inadequate to effectively train today’s residents, fellows and practicing orthopedic surgeons. The model may have been effective decades ago when surgical skills focused on basic principles with limited technological options. However, today’s orthopedic surgeons not only have to be capable of complex surgical skills, but they also have to be competent with rapidly progressing technology that requires an advancement of skills beyond a fixed point in time, such as residency education.