From Socrates to Virtual Reality: A Historical Review of Learning Theories and Their Influence on the Training of Anesthesiologists

J Educ Perioper Med. 2020 Apr 1;22(2):E638. doi: 10.46374/volxxii-issue2-Caruso. eCollection Apr-Jun 2020.


Over the past couple of centuries, the training of American physicians, and anesthesiologists in particular, has undergone a radical transformation. The revolution of medical training has been and continues to be fueled by insights from learning theorists. In this historical review, we discuss the origins of American medical education in the 1700s and continue through the centuries illustrating the impact of learning theories on the education and training of anesthesiologists. In particular, we explore the impact of learning theories of the 1800s and the adult-centered teaching strategies of the 1900s. We also discuss the role of learning theories in molding medical education in the modern technological age.

Keywords: Medical education; anesthesiology; continuing education; preceptorship; teacher training.