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An audit of undergraduate trauma and orthopaedic surgery teaching was carried out in 24 of the 27 medical schools in Great Britain and major differences were found between the medical schools. The range of time spent in teaching trauma and orthopaedic surgery for undergraduates varied from 3 weeks to 12 weeks and in five out of 27 medical schools trauma and orthopaedic surgery tuition was split between various years of the clinical curriculum. In some schools there were 30 students on a firm and in others only one. The opportunity for undergraduates to give feedback to their teachers, the use of objective assessment at the end of such an appointment by the teachers, varied between medical schools. To avoid some of these very basic differences between our medical schools, the teaching of clinical subjects to undergraduates in medicine should be reviewed nationally and minimum standards set.