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From Interns to Experts: Tips for Training and Beyond

(Posted July 2021)

This article challenges all lifelong learners to think differently about the mastery of surgery by exploring eight key points about the psychology of expertise based on the work of one leader in the field, Anders Ericsson, PhD. The intended audience for this article includes students, residents, and attending physicians who are invested in advancing the science of education in surgical training. After reading this article, you should be able to:

  • Translate basic and practical principles of expertise learning from other fields into surgical training.
  • Understand the importance of adopting a paradigm of universal potential over natural talent. 
  • Define and apply principles of deliberate practice, including focus and feedback to one’s own learning and skill development.

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