Surgical education continues to evolve from the master-apprentice model. Newer methods of the process need to be used to manage the dual challenges of educating while providing safe surgical care. This requires integrating adult learning concepts into delivery of practical training and education in busy clinical environments. A narrative review aimed at outlining and integrating adult learning and surgical education theory was undertaken. Additionally, this information was used to relate the practical delivery of surgical training and education in day-to-day surgical practice. Concepts were sourced from reference material. Additional material was found using a PubMed search of the words: ‘surgical education theory’ and ‘adult learning theory medical’. This yielded 1351 abstracts, of which 43 articles with a focus on key concepts in adult education theory were used. Key papers were used to formulate structure and additional cross-referenced papers were included where appropriate. Current concepts within adult learning have a lot to offer when considering how to better deliver surgical education and training. Better integration of adult learning theory can be fruitful. Individual teaching surgical units need to rethink their paradigms and consider how each individual can contribute to the education experience. Up skilling courses for trainers can do much to improve the delivery of surgical education. Understanding adult learning concepts and integrating these into day-to-day teaching can be valuable.
Rashid, P. (2017). Surgical education and adult learning: Integrating theory into practice. F1000Research, 6, 143. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.10870.1