The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has launched a pioneering new faculty, the Faculty of Surgical Trainers (FST). The Faculty is the first of its kind in the UK and, following a highly successful pilot, is now open to all those who have an active interest or involvement in surgical training in the UK and internationally, regardless of College affiliation. Membership is available at three levels: Fellow, Member and Associate. Fellows and Members of the Faculty will be awarded the post-nominals FFSTEd and MFSTEd.
On the announcement of the launch of the Faculty, the College's President, Ian Ritchie, commented:
"The surgical training landscape is changing with shorter training times, a move towards competency-based training and an increased awareness of patient safety. Excellent surgical training is the first step in the delivery of high-quality patient care in the future, and trainees themselves now demand increased accountability, quality and excellence in their training. In light of recent events, such as the findings of the Francis report, the need for a Faculty of Surgical Trainers seems particularly acute; prior to the inauguration of our new faculty there had been no defined body devoted to the promotion and support of surgical trainers in the UK."
It was this that led the College, in June 2011, to start a pilot for the Faculty; Mr Ritchie adds:
"From the pilot it became apparent that there is a keen group of consultants and trainees, throughout the UK and across the world, who would be willing to engage with, and participate in, a Faculty of Surgical Trainers. The Faculty now has over 350 members from the pilot alone and many others are in the process of attaining membership of the Faculty."
The FST has a clear remit which the Faculty's Surgical Director, Craig McIlhenny, explains:
"The purpose of the Faculty is to help support and develop surgeons in their role as surgical trainers. We will work to increase the profile and recognition of surgical education and training and to disseminate the message that excellent surgical training means excellent and safer patient care.
"We will champion and promote training in non-technical skills as well as in traditional technical skills, to further enhance patient safety and provide a framework for the training and education of surgical trainers. We want our standards to help surgical trainers to work towards excellence, and give individual surgeons a level against which to benchmark themselves."
A future change in the landscape of surgical training has further underlined the need for the new Faculty, Mr Mcilhenny explains further:
"Traditionally, there has been no stipulation of any requirement for surgeons to have educational training. This position will change with the General Medical Council (GMC) planning to introduce approval of trainers by 2016.
"The essential theme of the GMC proposals is the linking of professional performance as an educator with the seven domains that have already been identified by the Academy of Medical Educators (AoME). High-quality training is a prerequisite for high-quality patient care, and the FST welcomes standards that provide public and professional reassurance about the quality of surgical trainers."
For further information on joining the Faculty, please visit our Membership pages.
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