The increasing significance of how to learn motor skills

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The training of surgeons has traditionally been an apprenticeship. In recent times it has become increasingly difficult for trainees to acquire operative skills. The acquisition and refinement of these technical skills by the surgical trainee are central to surgical teaching. Much work has been done looking into the theories of motor skill learning, working on the assumptions that if they are understood then tests may be developed to be used as skill predictors. Two schools of thought exist as to the use of neuropsychological factors in learning fine motor skills but all agree that practice and instructional feedback are essential for the correct acquisition of these essential surgical skills. With the current climate of shortened training and new guidelines its even more important to understand skill acquisition and assist in the learning of new surgical skills.




Khan, M., Widdowson, D., & Tiernan, E. (2004). The increasing significance of how to learn motor skills. International Journal of Surgery, 2(2), 124–125.

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