BOA Education Committee Meeting

Standing in for the flamboyant Danny Ryan I attended the latest BOA Education Committee meeting at the College. Things kicked off with a bang from Richard Bamford, general surgery registrar in Severn Deanery. He presented a compelling argument for surgical bootcamps for core trainees (CTs) and ST3s. Bootcamps provide intensive, simulation rich training at a critical transition time during a trainee’s career path. In the case of CTs in Severn, these were in the form of 2 days at their induction followed by a further day (2+1) after one week to consolidate learning. CTs learned a range of important skills in a supportive environment, from: surgical skills, the management of critically ill patients, to dictating a clinic letter and neurosurgical referrals. Overall feedback showed increased confidence and knowledge amongst trainees post-Boot compared to their pre-Boot state. The plan is that the camps will be rolled out nationwide by means of a template for setting up their own regional versions given to all Training Programme Directors at the next BOA congress, with a focus on making ST3s trauma safe.

The ongoing success of the BOA Clinical Leaders Programme was discussed in the meeting and the principle routes by which interested people can get onto the programme: individual applications by senior (ST8) trainees, newly appointed consultants and SAS surgeons; and appointment either by specialist societies or Trusts hosting National Clinical Leader Fellowships. The development of a BOA Senior Programme was also discussed, which would be a sponsored programme for consultants to transform health services and influence strategy for the delivery of healthcare.

An evaluation of the 2016 BOA Instructional Course considered the successes and improvements which are due to be made for next years course. Overall, the teaching faculty rated extremely highly. The lectures and CBD based learning format will continue, which had positive feedback from the majority of trainees. Basic science, a subject where many candidates come unstuck during their FRCS viva was mentioned as a potential topic for next year in addition to the physiological response to trauma and other critical CBD conditions.

Finally, Wikipedics which is going through its final stages of development before full release was previewed. An alpha test version was shown, demonstrating its potential impact as a valuable learning resource. Editing of content is being finalised and a soft launch scheduled at the BOTA Educational Congress in Hinckley Island on 16-19th June.

Concerns for the plight of ST3 applicants in London were also highlighted at the end of the meeting, a situation which appears to have arisen from an oversupply of ST3s from last year’s recruitment and changes in the boundaries of some London Deaneries. Further urgent clarification is being sought about this situation by Mustafa Rashid BOTA president.

John Davies MB ChB MRCS MSc(Eng) FRCS(T&O)