Acquiring skills in new procedures and technology: the challenge and the opportunity

Arch Surg. 2005 Apr;140(4):387-9. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.140.4.387.


The process of acquiring new surgical skills beyond the period of residency training should include selection of a complete educational experience founded on a disease-based approach rather than an isolated intervention. Deliberate practice and avoidance of automaticity through the establishment of learning goals that exceed the current level of performance should help in developing expertise. The Division of Education of the American College of Surgeons (Chicago, Ill) has undertaken steps to support surgeons' efforts in acquiring skills in new procedures and technologies. A major area of focus is verifying the knowledge and skills of surgeons at the completion of experiential courses. The division is developing a model to establish a network of ACS-Accredited Education (Skills) Centers. A comprehensive and well-designed approach is essential to support surgeons' efforts to acquire new skills to provide the best care to patients.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States