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Core Surgical Training

The Core Surgical Training (CST) programme lasts for two years (CT1-2), during which time, trainees work in several surgical specialties, such as


CST Programme

Although CST generally lasts for 24 months, trainees in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can apply for higher specialist training after 12 months of core training. Trainees must use the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) website to follow the curriculum of, and document their progression through, the CST programme. It is essential that they keep their information updated on the website, otherwise it may not be considered in their Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).

To meet the requirements of the CST programme, most trainees go through the national CST system. However, for those using a different pathway, it is paramount to check that their courses are approved. Once the trainee begins a National Training Number (NTN) programme, they not be eligible to train for a particular certificate – be it the CCT, the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration via the Combined Programme, or CESR (CP), or a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR).

CST Curriculum

There are 10 modules in the CST curriculum.

Module One

Trainees are expected to show that they have gained knowledge of the basic sciences relevant for surgical practice, such as

Module Two

Trainees are expected to show that they understand the basic science underlying common surgical conditions, and that they can assess and manage patients with

Module Three

Trainees are expected to acquire basic surgical skills such as

Module Four

Trainees should show that they can assess and mange patients, and formulate a management plan including both surgical and non-surgical treatment.

Module Five

Trainees must be able to assess and manage patients in the pre-, peri-, and post-operative period.

Module Six

Trainees are expected to be able to assess and manage trauma-suffering patients, including those with multiple injuries, in the initial stages. As evidence that they are competent to manage such patients, trainees should have a certificate in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS), or an equivalent.

Module Seven

Trainees are expected to assess and manage children with problems requiring surgery. They also need to be aware of any issues regarding child protection, and should be able to take appropriate action.

Module Eight

Trainees should be able to manage patients who are at the end of life, and understand the ethical issues that arise in patients who have been certified as DNAR.

Module Nine

Trainees should understand the principles of transplantation, such as the indications for an organ transplant, and the procurement and donation of organs and tissues.

Module 10

Trainees should be able to support patients to improve and maintain their own health.

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