Diploma in Hand Surgery
What is the Hand Diploma?
The BSSH Hand Diploma was developed by The British Society for Surgery of the Hand, and is approved by and leads to an award from the University of Manchester
The Diploma in Hand Surgery is a course of study to build knowledge and confidence for life as a consultant Hand Surgeon. It is aimed at senior trainees and young consultants. The course is run in conjunction with the University of Manchester who ensure the quality of the educational experience and validate the final qualification. This is a qualification that has the confidence of our profession and the public.
Who is the course for?
This Course is aimed at Plastic and Orthopaedic Surgeons at ST6+ level (or equivalent) who are committed to pursuing a career the sub-specialty of Hand Surgery.
Standard of the Course
The examination standard is that of a Day 1 Consultant in the sub-specialty of Hand Surgery with Orthoplastic Hand experience in Great Britain and Ireland.
On successful completion of the exam we envisage a candidate would be imminently ready to become an independent practicing clinician in the sub-specialty of Hand Surgery.
What does it involve?
The course covers the length and breadth of hand surgery. It is a great way to structure learning during a fellowship or for continuing professional development. There is a lot of work involved – the equivalent of 1200 educational hours. Not all of this is reading; clinical teaching, tutorials and a range of projects also contribute to the overall commitment.
How does it work?
This is known as a distributed learning programme, which means the syllabus and assessment structure are set by us but the teaching happens where the participating surgeon is based. The subject matter is divided into 8 modules each of them requiring 4 tutorials and having 3 assessments of one type or another. It is a great opportunity to spend plenty of time talking about our favourite surgical subject matter but does need a lot of motivation from the student and the tutors not to mention good organisation.
When can I start and finish?
Applications can be submitted at any time in the year and we encourage any Plastic or Orthopaedic Surgery trainee past the end of ST6 who knows they want to be a Hand Surgeon to consider commencing their studies at an early stage. Most candidates spend 13 months on the course, UK university rules require completion be within 5 years. The final examination covers all the topics in the course and is held once a year in Birmingham. Around a month prior to the exam all coursework must be completed and evidence of that submitted to the course co-ordinator.
Who can sign up?
The minimum requirements include: GMC registration, evidence of structured training and annual appraisal in Plastic or Orthopaedic Surgery, at least 6 months of advanced hand surgery training (post FRCS), and a willing team of supervisor and tutors. Before taking the examination the student also needs to have been successful in the FRCS Orth or Plast. If you are not sure whether you will be eligible have a look at the Eligibility Criteria and Application Documents page, in the course manual or email the course co-ordinator.
How much does it cost?
The course fee is £1050. This is heavily subsidized by the BSSH and the fee remains unchanged since the course started in 2007. The fee includes the final exam and one retake if required. It does not include conference or external course fees that would normally be supported through a study leave budget.
What support is available?
Your diploma consultant supervisor will be your main source of support. There are also Diploma Director and Candidate Mentor, who are members of the diploma committee who can help with any issues that the supervisor isn’t able to resolve.
Each year there is a course to assist with preparation for the exam. It includes a mock written paper, practice OSCEs and talks on the examination structure. The day is held in Birmingham and is free for Diploma candidates.
The Pulvertaft Hand Centre in Derby runs a Booster Day to help complete face to face coursework. This can be tutorials, especially for those harder to access specialist areas like the Child’s Hand, or assessments. You can have a maximum of 5 items in your workbook (tutorials/KBA/CEX/CBD) signed at Booster days. If you attend more than one Booster day the maximum number of items signed off remains at 5.
Lastly there is a student representative for the course who coordinates the peer network for the participants and can raise any issues with the committee as appropriate.
Where can I find more information?
Talking to someone already studying or teaching on the programme is often a good way to find out more, if you don’t already know someone who fits the bill contact our course co-ordinator who is always happy to help via email@example.com and you can be put in touch with the student representative or a member of the committee as appropriate.
You will find full details of the course in the
Diploma Course Manual
There are several other documents that you might find useful:
Approved Hand Diploma Tutors
Abbreviations of medical terms
How do I Apply ?
Please click the link below, to see more information on the elgibility criteria and documents required to apply.
You can then complete the online application form accessed at the bottom of the page
Eligibility Criteria and Application Documents