How educational theory can inform the training and practice of vascular surgeons

Erica L. Mitchell, Sonal Arora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The past decade has seen the beginning of a revolution in the way in which surgeons learn their craft. As technology has become increasingly sophisticated, and care more accountable, traditional methods of skill acquisition are no longer optimal as sole training modalities. Against this backdrop, there has been a shift toward competency-based training programs reflecting the growing emphasis on outcomes-based medical education. The modern vascular specialist needs to possess a thorough understanding of the pathophysiology of vascular disease, imaging modalities, and the nonoperative and operative management of the vascular patient. Surgical educators are therefore compelled to develop practical training programs that can teach each of these skills in a safe, learner-centric manner. This report highlights how an understanding of pedagogy or the principles of adult learning can aid this endeavor. Key models of educational theory are presented and their application to vascular training and the development of expertise are highlighted. The report concludes with recommendations for surgical educators to build assessments of competence using these theoretic principles to optimize the training of the next generation of vascular surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-537
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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