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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Master of Philosophy in Trauma Surgery 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91758  Master of Philosophy in Trauma Surgery 
ORIGINATOR
University of Cape Town 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Master's Degree  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Curative Health 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  180  Not Applicable  NQF Level 09  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to equip the surgeon to care for critically ill and injured patients and an advanced level of skills to manage critically injured patients.

On completion of this qualification graduates will be in a position to:
  • Competently resuscitate, assess, diagnose and manage victims in need of trauma care.
  • Competently apply the operative and non-operative techniques of trauma surgery.
  • Competently manage the critically ill patient requiring intensive care admission and on-going surgical care.
  • Use advanced technology and instrumentation to monitor the physiological status of trauma patients of all ages.
  • Demonstrate a high level of knowledge of organisational and administrative aspects of a trauma care system.
  • Foster the development of skills in research and in teaching related to trauma and critical care.
  • Consistently act according to the ethical, economic, and legal issues pertinent to trauma care.

    Rationale:
    South Africa is encumbered with a disproportionately large burden of trauma. Despite the reduction in political conflict in the post-apartheid era, interpersonal violence has continued to plague South Africa and especially the Western Cape, and has actually increased over the past 20 years. The homicide rate for the year 2000 of 64.8 per 100,000 members of the population is seven times the global rate.

    Road traffic fatality rates in South Africa are also among the highest in the World and are estimated to be double the global average. The most recent National Injury and Mortality Surveillance data indicate that Cape Town has the highest homicide rate in South Africa and the second largest number of transport deaths of all the major cities.

    There is a desperate need for trauma surgeons in South Africa and in response to this the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) recognised the Trauma Surgery sub-specialty in 2008.

    The College of Surgeons of South Africa Regulations for admission to the examination for the post-specialisation sub-specialty certificate in Trauma Surgery (Cert Trauma Surgery) have been established.

    Qualified trauma surgeons have been demonstrated to reduce the mortality rates associated with traumatic injuries and there is the worldwide recognition that training in this subspecialty is essential for the provision of care to the injured. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Knowledge of basic surgical anatomy.
  • Knowledge of physiology, pathology and pharmacology related to surgery.
  • The ability to operate safely and skilfully.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:
    Admission to this Master's Degree could be granted to learners not in possession of the specified Degree that meets the admission requirements at the discretion of the Institution and in accordance with the relevant legislation.

    Access to the Qualification:
    Learners accessing this qualification must be in possession of:
  • A specialist Degree (MMed in General Surgery or an approved equivalent).
  • Appointment as a learner by the HPCSA. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification comprises two compulsory parts, viz., theory related to trauma surgery and prescribed practical procedures, together worth 120 credits and a dissertation not exceeding 50 000 words, worth 60 credits. All the credits are at NQF Level 9. Total required credits for the qualification: 180.

    Modules:
  • Epidemiology: Prevention and Disaster Management.
  • Immunologic and Metabolic Response to Injury.
  • Transfusion and Fluid Theory.
  • Head Injury.
  • Neck and Spinal Cord Injury.
  • Chest Trauma.
  • Abdominal and Pelvic Trauma.
  • Vascular Trauma.
  • Fracture Biology and Extremity Trauma.
  • Burns and Wound Healing.
  • Critical Care and Trauma.

    Dissertation:
    The research topic/problem is selected in consultation with the supervisor. The work involves:
  • The preparation of a research proposal.
  • A literature review.
  • Data collection (possibly including empirical research).
  • Analysis of finding/s.
  • Drawing of conclusions.
  • Making recommendations.
  • The preparation of the dissertation of not more than 50 000 words. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate a high level of competence in the resuscitation, assessment, diagnosis and management of trauma care.
    2. Demonstrate a high level of competence in the operative and non-operative techniques of trauma surgery.
    3. Manage the critically ill patient requiring intensive care admission and on-going surgical care.
    4. Use advanced technology and instrumentation to monitor the physiological status of trauma patients of all ages.
    5. Demonstrate a high level of knowledge of the organisational and administrative aspects of a trauma care system.
    6. Foster the development of skills in both teaching and research related to trauma and critical care.
    7. Manifest consistent awareness of the ethical, economic, and legal issues as they pertain to trauma care.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in the qualification. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    The following Assessment Criteria are applied in an integrated manner to encompass all the Exit Level Outcomes:
  • A trauma service is organised and directed, which actions include the ability to:
    > Appoint, train and supervise specialised personnel.
    > Manage a trauma registry.
    > Use trauma scoring systems.
    > Establish protocols.
    > Apply clinical governance and quality assurance.
    All of which will be achieved through daily consultant lead academic ward rounds, weekly seminars and monthly morbidity and mortality meetings.
  • Surgical skills and techniques in the theatre environment are demonstrated.
  • The special body of knowledge required for the comprehensive management of the trauma patient is taught to undergraduates (5th and 6th year medical students), medical officers and post-graduate surgical registrars in training.
  • Decisions are made in complex and unpredictable situations for the immediate management of traumatic injuries following experience in the management of:
    > Surgical and non-surgical therapy of injured patients.
    > Preoperative and postoperative care of injured patients who require critical care.
    > Patients of all age groups, particularly those with critical injuries complicated by chronic cardiac, respiratory, renal or metabolic dysfunction.
  • The various areas of trauma care such as prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation are interrogated with a view to developing further research.
  • A broad and critical understanding of the science of trauma is manifested and encompasses:
    > Trauma epidemiology.
    > Mechanisms of trauma.
    > Immunological and metabolic responses to trauma.
    > Principles of pre-hospital care.
    > Trauma triage and mass disaster.
    > Fluid and transfusion practice.
    > Application of damage control strategies.
    > Imaging in the trauma patient.
    > Critical understanding of organ and system specific injuries.
    > Application of surgical techniques.
    > Critical care.
    > Rehabilitation.
    > Prevention.
  • A research dissertation of the required length is produced after completing the relevant stages of the research process such as:
    > Identifying a research theme.
    > Undertaking a comprehensive and critical review of current literature and investigations.
    > Analysing and describing the theoretical arguments.
    > Applying the selected research processes and/or methodology.
    > Recording results, conclusions and recommendations.
  • All actions undertaken in the management of traumatic injuries are applied in accordance with the ethical principles of the medical profession.
  • Decisions taken in the comprehensive management of the trauma patient reflect attention to the relevant legal and economic constraints without compromising the ethical requirements of treatment.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Each module will have continuous assessment of both theoretical and clinical skills.
    There will be a review of the log-book every quarter.
    The dissertation is externally examined. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Internationally, Trauma surgery is taught in several ways:
    As a sub- speciality of general surgery: for example, as in the United States of America (USA) where a trauma fellowship is undertaken after a completed general surgery residency programme. This is a 2-year combined trauma surgery and critical care fellowship. The American Board of Surgery certification for trauma surgery is successful completion of the fellowship and a certifying examination in surgical critical care.

    In Europe training programmes usually take place under supervision of the national surgical boards, who also certify for the subspecialty of trauma surgery. There is also an official European trauma surgical examination.

    As a Master's Degree: for example the Queen Mary University of London offers a 2-year part-time Masters in Trauma Sciences. Swansea University College of Medicine offers a Trauma Surgery MSc as a part-time 2-year course.

    In India a 3-year Masters course in Trauma Surgery is available.

    Considering the required theoretical knowledge, practical skills and research components, this qualification complies with international practice in terms of the requirements for a Master's Degree. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
  • This qualification articulates horizontally with any related Medical Master's Degree at NQF Level 9.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • This qualification articulates vertically with any related Medical Doctorate at NQF Level 10. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Two external moderators are appointed to evaluate the dissertation. The external reports are subject to the standard institutional procedures thereafter.

    For the examinations, external moderators will be trauma surgeons from the various Medical Faculties of universities around the country. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    All examiners and moderators are expected to be in possession of PhD or MMed Degrees. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. University of Cape Town 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.