The 2015 Leonardo Da Vinci Award for Training Excellence was awarded to:

U F W Franke
Stuttgart, Germany

Applications for the 2016 awards is now CLOSED

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To ensure the surgeons of tomorrow are well equipped, teaching has to become more efficient and at the same time highly effective, particularly with the current pressures on the system introduced by the European Working Time Directive. Teaching skills have never been formally recognised to the same extent as research and they are usually eclipsed by clinical acumen. The Surgical Training and Manpower Committee of EACTS is therefore proud to establish the Leonardo Da Vinci Award for Training Excellence to identify the best cardiothoracic trainer in Europe, as nominated by the trainees.

The Award draws on the experience of the Silver Scalpel Award in the UK and the Socrates Award for the STS society in America. The principal of the Leonardo Da Vinci Award for Training Excellence is:

  1. To recognise and reward excellence in training;
  2. To establish a benchmark in the form of a trainer role model;
  3. To define the attributes that make a good cardiothoracic surgical teacher.

All cardiothoracic trainees in every European country are invited to nominate their trainer for the Leonardo Da Vinci Award.

nomination process

The trainee is asked to submit a piece of reflective writing indicating why the trainer deserves the Leonardo Da Vinci Award.  This is in five key competence areas. The submission should not only describe the trainer’s attributes but give examples of their skills.  The areas are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Resourcefulness
  3. Training development
  4. Professionalism
  5. Communication

judging process

The scoring system developed for the Silver Scalpel Award (UK) will be used for assessing applications for the Leonardo Da Vinci Award. Each of the five competencies will be sub-divided into seven characteristics and then marked to generate an overall score.

The top three candidates will be asked to nominate a peer, a trainee and a nursing sister, and to supply their respective email and contact details in order that EACTS can invite them to substantiate the nomination. Interviews will be held between the shortlisted candidate, the three nominated persons and the members of the jury in order to evaluate the statements on why does the candidate deserve the award.  The responses of the interview will be collected in a standardised format and presented to the Nominating Committee of the EACTS to decide the winner.  Letters will also be sent to the Chief Executive of the Hospital to ensure that there is no contra-indication to the nomination of the surgeon for the award.

The winner of the award will be announced, and a trophy given, at the EACTS Annual Meeting. The winner’s name, together with a short list of candidates will go on a roll of honour to be established by the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery.