COGNITIVE SIMULATION  -  For surgeons across specialties


Why do you need it? - Mind the gap.

Have you ever thought why surgeons differ in their technical abilities, why some remain mediocre while others become experts or why a particular surgeon picks up new techniques quicker than others? In other words, did you ever mind the gaps amongst the surgeon's skills? If you become mindful of the gaps, you will be surprised to see that surgeon's mind, not the hand, is the cause of the gaps. Besides you can narrow the gaps by smarter use of mind i.e. cognitive techniques!

In surgery, new techniques are evolved and modern technology is introduced at a faster pace. These introductions demand changes in surgeon's psychomotor abilities. Operation theatre is not an ideal place to experiment making these changes. Cognitive simulation helps to bring about the changes by working outside of operation theatre.

The traditional methods of teaching operative skills have become unsuitable in the current environment. After using for decades, flaws in 'see one, do one, and teach one' methods have become apparent. The changing patterns of surgical care have made it difficult to continue with the old system. Shortening of the working hours for trainees reduced the skill learning opportunities even further.


Following the decline of the traditional methods some alternatives have evolved to compensate for the loss of hands-on experience: from cadaveric dissection courses to the virtual reality simulators. Unfortunately, all of them have one or the other limitations: lack of availability, high cost and poor fidelity. Cognitive simulation is devoid of these limitations; it is available 24x7, costs nothing and with training the fidelity can be improved remarkably.

Quality operative competence is vital in the current climate of performance monitoring. To maintain the quality of skills, practice is necessary. It is surprising that even though practice is regarded as vital in surgery, better ways of practicing has not been pursued with fervor. It is partly because the emphasis has been on 'what to practice rather than 'how to practice better'. This needs to change. Imagine if it was possible for a surgeon to achieve expertise in absolutely any procedure within a very short period and acquire complex skills of highest caliber as well as get a 'talent code' for 'gifted hands'. All this could be possible if we realize the secret of operative talent lies in perfecting the art of practice.


Surgical Psychology Publishing
7 Brunswick Gate
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 777 3436 303
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