There are 230 defined objectives in the national competency-based catalogue of learning goals in surgery (NKLC) for undergraduate surgical education in Germany. These teaching objectives should be met by the students at the end of their undergraduate education, regardless of their career choice afterward. Assessment drives learning, and thus, alignment of the second state examination and the learning objectives of the NKLC seems reasonable. This study analyses the amount of plastic surgery-based learning objectives in the NKLC. Subsequently, we compared these results with the plastic surgery questions of the German second medical licensing examination compiled by the Central German Institute for Medical and Pharmaceutical Examinations (IMPP).
 Plastic surgery teaching objectives in the NKLC were identified by five plastic surgeons. Exam questions from autumn 2009 to autumn 2014 (number of exams = 11) were retrospectively analyzed, and all exam questions addressing plastic surgery-related objectives were evaluated. The analysis included the total number of questions, mean number of questions for each examination, and the number of questions for each learning objective.
 Thirty-four learning objectives of the NKLC were identified as “plastic surgery-related” (14.8 % of all NKLC learning objectives). One of these was classified as “only covered by plastic surgery”. Ninety-six questions (2.8 % of the total number of 3480 questions) addressed plastic surgery related objectives. Per exam, an average of 8.7 ± 4.0 questions (minimum, 4; maximum, 15) addressed plastic surgery-related learning objectives. During the study period, six learning objectives were not tested at all (2.6 % of all NKLC learning objectives).
 Questions focusing on plastic surgery-related learning objectives are not frequent in the second medical licensing examination. Presumably, medical students do not prioritize these objectives and might not have sufficient knowledge of the topics at the beginning of their medical career. A better adjustment of the state examinations and the NKLC seems desirable for plastic surgery-related learning objectives.

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