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The AOA Education Committee was formed in 2013 during the presidency of Dr. Dohar Tobing and the council then unanimously chose Prof Lee Eng Hin from Singapore to lead this committee. The first meeting of the AOA Education Committee was held in 2014.


This Committee was tasked to develop a common syllabus/curriculum for all ASEAN countries based on minimum standards required to practice competently as a general orthopaedic surgeon. The main objective of having a common curriculum is to facilitate exchanges of residents and fellows amongst the ASEAN countries to increase their exposure to orthopaedic conditions in the region and improve their breadth and depth of knowledge and skills.


The Committee met every 6 months since then and is currently finalizing the common orthopaedic curriculum for the ASEAN countries. The Curriculum, based on learning objectives and outcomes, provides guidelines for the requisite core knowledge and skills for Orthopaedic Residency Training Programs in ASEAN countries.


The Education Committee unanimously agreed that the minimum duration for orthopaedic residency training should be 4 years. It is expected that candidates entering the orthopaedic residency training program would already have undergone basic surgical training. The core curriculum was defined as:

  • 12 months of general orthopaedics and trauma

  • 6 months of adult reconstructive surgery (including arthroplasty, sports, arthroscopy & foot and ankle)

  • 3 months of hand and reconstructive microsurgery

  • 3 months of paediatrics (should this read “paediatric orthopaedics”)

  • 3 months of musculoskeletal oncology

  • 3 months of spinal surgery


In addition to the above, the training program should ensure that the candidate develops good communication skills, professionalism and ethics. The candidate should also be exposed to critical analysis of publications and training on how to undertake research and to present their findings at conferences.


The Syllabus will be presented in two parts, detailing the clinical knowledge and procedural and surgical skills expected of orthopaedic residents at the end of their training. These two parts consists of:

  • Applied Clinical Knowledge, including clinical examination, diagnosis and management, with specific application in the context of general orthopaedics and trauma

  • Applied Clinical Skills including core competencies for specific procedures commonly performed in general orthopaedics and trauma

For Applied Clinical Knowledge and Skills, a modified Miller Pyramid was adopted to define the desired levels of competence for each area at the end of training. The modified Miller Pyramid is as follows:


Levels of Knowledge:

A: Demonstrate awareness of

B: Demonstrate adequate knowledge of

C: Demonstrate thorough knowledge of

Levels of Skills:

A: Demonstrate knowledge of

B: Demonstrate ability to assist and/or perform with assistance

C: Demonstrate ability to independently perform


The Education Committee decided to adopt the Philippine Orthopaedic Board format as a template for the detailed Syllabus. Three Workgroups were formed under the leadership of Prof David Choon from Malaysia, Dr Dohar Tobing from Indonesia and Prof Lee Eng Hin from Singapore. The workgroups were tasked to come up with a detailed Syllabus in all the domains in orthopaedic surgery. All items in basic science, general orthopaedics and the subspecialty areas were carefully scrutinized and agreed upon by the representatives in the Education Committee from all the ASEAN countries in terms of content as well as desired level of competence for the resident at the end of training.


The Education Committee decided that Assessment of the resident’s progress in training will be left to individual training programs in the ASEAN countries. Likewise, the Assessment for completion of training and competency to practice orthopaedic surgery will be based on the individual country’s Board of Examination. However, the Education Committee encourages exchanges of examiners amongst the ASEAN countries to expose examiners to the examination processes in different countries and to enable examiners to learn from each other.

It took 5 years to develop the AOA Curriculum and the Myanmar group graciously offered to the layout and publishing.


Education Committee Chairman





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