CRAMSURG explained

This website is an educational resource on ‘critical appraisal’ and ‘research methodology’ for surgeons and trainees in the UK and beyond. CRAMsurg is also a charitable association, you can read our charitable purpose and request a copy of our trust deed! All material created for this project is released under an attribution-non commercial-share alike licence! Creative Commons License


Surgeons are expected to be able to critically review research papers in their field and recognize the limitations of the research and the implications on their practice. Trainees are also expected to develop and conduct their own research, often with little academic supervision.
It is widely recognized that formal training in this area is sparse or lacking in many medical schools and training programmes in the UK. Anecdotally, this appears to be a global problem. Regular teaching sessions on appraisal in the form of ‘journal clubs’ has disappeared from several surgical units in the UK. To address this gap in training and to improve appraisal and methodology skills, we have set out to provide a resource on the web and run regular sessions on research methodology and critical appraisal. We hope that this resource and the sessions will enable surgical trainees to develop their skillset in this area and give them the confidence to develop their own research questions and design and conduct clinical research.

Online Journal Club

This will be held on a regular basis and the live sessions are currently only available for surgeons and trainees from the ‘Yorkshire and Humber’ deanery. However, recordings will be posted on the website and made freely available. These sessions would typically include:

  1. Critical appraisal of a paper recently published in a prominent surgical journal
  2. Q&A session
  3. Short tutorial on an aspect of research methodology
  4. Q&A session

Tutorials will be led by Prof Saba Balasubramanian, University of Sheffield (see our bio page).
Links to recent programmes (including video links, audio links and minutes of Q&A sessions) can be found on our homepage.


Surgical trainees in the ‘Yorkshire and Humber’ deanery are welcome to attend and also to take an active part by presenting a paper. If you wish to present, please see our present with us webpage. You will be allocated a paper and asked to prepare a powerpoint presentation.