Progress in medical science, and the deeping of physician experience in general, make continuing education a fundamental obligation on the part of the practicing physician. Besides academies of advanced medical training, we feel that medical schools and uni versities offer a particularly good setting for continuing medical education. When the Hannover Medical School established West Germany's fIrst Department of Trauma Surgery in 1970, we committed ourselves to this goal and instituted the Hannover Trauma Seminars as a regional forum for continuing physician education. Made up almost entirely of our colleagues at the Trauma Surgery Clinic, the basic goal of the seminars is to review new discoveries and techniques in the fIeld of traumatology and assess their practical relevance to the physician who treats trauma victims. In addition to research, the experience ofthe Hannover School of Trauma Surgery form an important basis for seminar activities. The fIrst Trauma Seminar was held on February 2, 1972. Initially, copies ofthe proceed ings were simply distributed to all interested participants. But as attendance grew and demand for the proceedings increased, it became necessary to seek a broader form of publication. Henceforth, the Hannover Trauma Seminars will be published as part of the Topics in Traumatology series. For this we are grateful to Springer Verlag and to series editors Jorg Re~ and Leonhard Schweiberer.