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It is well recognised that a significant proportion of errors involving trainee doctors result from failures of non-technical skills (NTS),1 which occur at least as frequently as knowledge and technical errors.2 Regardless of background, all trainees need generic skills of leadership, decision-making, team-working and resource management.3 It might, therefore, be expected that curricula for different specialties would use similar definitions and teaching methods to specify NTS standards. We have performed an analysis of medical training curricula to determine the extent to which different medical specialties set training objectives in NTS, and to seek trends in the prominence with which these skills feature.
All hospital-based medical, surgical and critical-care specialties were obtained in mid-2013, along with each curriculum's immediate predecessor (where available). The curricula were initially searched for the core keywords ‘non-technical skills’, ‘situational awareness’ and ‘human factors’, as well as a list of secondary keywords (generated by a modified Delphi process) grouped under headings ‘task management’, ‘team working’, ‘situational awareness’ and ‘decision making’. The list was refined over two generations before consensus was reached. Each curriculum …
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