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Professor Josep Trueta Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship Programme

Oxford Trauma Service provides an internationally competitive one-year Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship.

This fellowship is for surgeons who will be Trauma sub-specialists working in MTCs and leaders in the specialty; consequently, there is minimal service provision and maximum time in theatre.

Weekly summary

  • Operating - >35 hours
  • Clinic - five hours
  • SPA - four hours
  • No nights, no weekends

Professor Josep Trueta

Professor Josep Trueta was the Director of Surgery in Barcelona General Hospital when the Spanish civil war broke out. He led the organisation of the city's civil defence which was sorely tested when the Axis forces bombed the city in 1938. He published his experiences in Treatment of War Wounds and Fractures in 1939.

When the Spanish republican forces were defeated Trueta fled Spain to the UK as a refugee. When his presence in this country was recognised, he was asked to advise the UK Government on the organisation of a Trauma network for Southern England in anticipation of the imminent Nazi bombing campaign.

After speaking on this subject at the Royal Society of Medicine, he was approached by Prof Gathorne Girdlestone and invited to come to Oxford to join the staff of the Wingfield Hospital.

Trueta helped establish the Oxford Trauma Service in the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1941, and served as Surgeon-in-Charge of the Hospital in 1942 - 44 while the Service's founding and long-standing director Mr James Scott deployed with the RAF.

In the UK, Trueta's research evolved from his previous observational, clinical studies and was focused on bone healing, the blood supply of bones and the kidneys. He became the third Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedics taking over from Prof Sir Herbert Seddon in 1949, and was succeeded by Prof Robert Duthie in 1966.

On his retirement he returned to his beloved Catalonia, where he died in 1977.

With his role in establishing the Trauma Service, his research interest in orthopaedic trauma and his experience of combat injuries, Prof Trueta's legacy to the Service remains relevant today. His is the obvious name for our prestigious fellowship programme.


In keeping with the University of Oxford's tutorial system, each of the consultants on the Service is able to deliver a 'Trueta Tutorial' on two to three subjects pertinent to orthopaedic trauma.

These are an in-depth exploration of an area of practice, blending analysis and interpretation of the evidence with personal experience, and often drawing on studies conducted by the individual.

Consultants will focus on areas in which they can confidently convey deep expertise and are encouraged to share personal opinion and highlight where they might step beyond common practice.

Fellows are expected to arrange a tutorial twice a month, with the understanding that these will frequently be in a social setting away from the hospital to avoid interruption and foster discussion.


The fellowship is an intense and busy year, and in recognition of their time with us fellows will be presented with a commemorative gold medal featuring the image of Professor Trueta and the Radcliffe Infirmary.

Gold disc with suited man's portrait and wording: Prof. Josep Trueta Orthopaedic Trauma Fellow

We hope this will remind fellows of their time with us and the of international alumni fellowship to which they now belong.

As former fellows take up prestigious posts around the world, we welcome recommendations on potential future fellows from their training programmes.

Last reviewed:21 June 2024