March 2017

Core Curriculum Task Force

Laurel Blakemore, MD
Core Curriculum Task Force Chair

The Core Curriculum Task Force has been charged with defining a comprehensive core curriculum for use in spinal deformity training. The curriculum should include a guideline for study as well as competency based surgical training.This will be a comprehensive curriculum of the knowledge and skill competencies for a training program that SRS would endorse. In addition, the curriculum will serve as the basis for SRS educational efforts including Worldwide Courses, to ensure consistency in post training societal education.

Committee members include Lindsay Andras, MD; Saumyajit Basu, MD; Marinus de Kleuver, MD, PhD; Praveen Mummaneni, MD; Stefan Parent, MD, PhD; Ferran Pellisé, MD, PhD, and Alpaslan Senkoylu, MD. A smaller steering committee composed of Dr. Andras, Dr. Blakemore, Prof. deKleuver, Dr. Parent and Dr. Pellisé has been overseeing the progress of an expensive Delphi survey under the guidance of consultant Willy Cats-Baril and with the enormous assistance of SRS staff liaison, Courtney Kissinger.

The panel consists of 139 expert spinal deformity surgeons from around the world, including 70 surgeons from the United States and 69 surgeons from outside the United States. A great majority of the panelists (79%) are Residency or Fellowship Directors; they have substantial spinal deformity practice (median 62% of their practice is deformity) and extensive experience (median is 23 years in practice).

To date as of February 5, 2017 the Delphi panel has completed three rounds including a two part round three with a response rate above 90% for all rounds.

So far, the group has agreed to the overall structure of the curriculum, using the following ten broad Knowledge Domains:

1)         Foundation Knowledge

2)         Early Onset Scoliosis

3)         Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

4)         Neuromuscular Deformity

5)         Adult Spinal Deformity

6)         Degenerative Spinal Deformity

7)         Kyphosis

8)         Spondylolisthesis

9)         Cervical Deformity

10)       Acquired Deformity

In round three, we addressed the Learning Objectives. These are intended to be a brief, clear statement of what the learner will be able to perform at the conclusion of the learning experience. Learning objectives define the expected goal of a curriculum, course, lesson or activity in terms of demonstrable skills or knowledge that will be acquired by a student as a result of instruction. We refined these into three groups of learner objectives applicable, across all of the domains:

  1. Defines Etiology, Classification and Natural History.
  2. Identifies clinical and radiological parameters modifying patient’s HRQOL and guiding treatment decision making process.
  3. Formulates and recommends treatment options, considering best evidence, safety, predicted outcomes and potential complications (risk / benefit).

 The Delphi process has provided a tremendous amount of data in round three which requires a labor intensive analysis to move to the final stages. The Core Curriculum Task Force met, along with Willy Cats-Baril and Courtney Kissinger, in Chicago on February 20th to analyze the data obtained during round three and direct the final rounds of the survey. In the final Delphi rounds we will define the following objectives for each knowledge domain:

Cognitive Skills: core skills used by the learner to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention.

Psychomotor Skills: physical skills such as movement, coordination, manipulation, dexterity, grace, strength, speed; actions which demonstrate the fine motor skills such as use of precision instruments or tools.

Assessment Tools: refers to the wide variety of methods or tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of students.

A report of the February meeting will be delivered at the SRS Board of Directors Meeting on March 13, 2017.

Chair: Laurel Blakemore, MD Committee: Lindsay Andras, MD; Saumyajit Basu, MD; Marinus de Kleuver, MD, PhD; Praveen Mummaneni, MD; Stefan Parent, MD, PhD; Ferran Pellisé, MD, PhD, and Alpaslan Senkoylu, MD