Author: Maidlow S and Alderson D Publication Year: 2012
Summary: Focussing on surgical trainers in surgical learning, this paper will discuss differing sources of inspiration and how simulators maximise early interest in a surgical career. The paper will suggest that a surgical trainee’s motivation is key to their development and is open to external influence.
Description: Surgical training involves years of preparation and practice; developing and maintaining the motivation to pursue such a career can be difficult. In this review we explore the place of motivation within the context of surgical training.

Applied theory of motivation in learning leads us to examine ‘deliberate practice’, a sustained, focussed endeavour to improve. A motivational mindset encompasses perseverance and an active approach to learning. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, alongside curiosity, have specific applications to different stages of surgical training.

Focussing on surgical trainers and simulation in surgical learning, this paper will discuss differing sources of inspiration and how simulators maximise early interest in a surgical career. Matching challenge to skill level is vital for encouraging and maintaining motivation and optimising patient safety. Reflection on their performance positively determines a trainee’s improvement over time, and as an individual manages and negotiates their role as a participant in surgery, learning evolves or is obstructed by a number of factors.

In conclusion, a surgical trainee’s motivation is key to their development and is open to external influence. A surgical teacher with insight and a well designed curriculum, particularly including the use of simulation, can facilitate a trainee in developing and maintaining their motivation.

Support files: