Surgical training in the UK is regulated by a core syllabus. This syllabus covers all the expected knowledge and outcomes that a surgeon should have at the end of training. Completion of the entire syllabus is often left to the trainees to manage themselves, which can lead to problems with job rotations etc. Now, the app T&O Curriculum aims to make this process somewhat easier. The app has been released shortly after the new ST3 syllabus for orthopaedics, and is designed for both trainers and trainees.
T&O Curriculum contains all areas of the syllabus as outlined by the new ST3 guidance. The menu option allows the user to explore each area of the syllabus and mark off each competency according to the standard scoring system. This information is stored locally on the device and can be updated as the trainee progresses. Unfortunately there is no way to sync this progress online through the app or export the information, which can present a problem if the user needs to reset their iPhone or iPad.
The interactive syllabus browser allows trainees to track their progress against each topic. This will help to organise FRCS(Orth) exam preparation and be useful when choosing topics for learning agreements.
On the whole the user interface is simple and straightforward to use and information is easy to access. There is a section for the trainee containing information related to all the various requirements of the curriculum as well as short concise sections which describe each aspect of their training programme.
This section for trainers is shorter but still contains useful information to help trainers assess trainees. The information in this section is similar to the trainee section however the content is focused on guiding and helping the trainers maximise learning. There is no content stored in the app and that it is purely used to measure progress through their training syllabus. However the ability to carry this around with each individual trainee is useful at many different levels. It is important to note that this app is really only useful to Orthopaedic trainees in the UK system due to the very targeted content within the app.
On the whole, the T&O Curriculum app for iPhone/iPad is an very useful addition for UK orthopaedic trainees. Its aim is to ensure that trainees and trainers have easy access to the syllabus helping them evaluate and monitor progress