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Investigación en educación médica

versión On-line ISSN 2007-5057


GAXIOLA-GARCIA, Miguel Ángel; KUSHIDA-CONTRERAS, Beatriz Hatsue  y  SANCHEZ-MENDIOLA, Melchor. Teaching surgical skills: relevant educational theories (part one). Investigación educ. médica [online]. 2022, vol.11, n.41, pp.82-96.  Epub 02-Mayo-2022. ISSN 2007-5057.


There is no globally accepted precise definition of surgical education. Educational theories and theoretical frameworks that support the teaching of surgery are fragmented and scattered, without being part of an integrated model that allow a holistic approach with academic rigour.


To obtain an approximation of the concepts and theories used in surgical education that can potentially be included in an integrative model.


A scoping review of the literature about surgical education and its theoretical-conceptual frameworks was carried out, relationships between concepts were determined when appropriate. The analysis was structured as follows: challenges of surgical education, educational paradigms, structured vs. unstructured programs, characteristics of an effective surgical mentor, cognitive theory of learning in the operating room, taxonomies for teaching and learning of surgery, novice to expert model, and models for surgical teaching.


The concepts that support the teaching of surgery are multiple; its application and utility have been demonstrated in medical and non-medical learning contexts. The use of these concepts or models by mentors provide schemes that facilitate the assessment and, when appropriate, the modification of teaching strategies. The theoretical grounding of surgical teaching allows migrating from programs based on arbitrary time periods or workloads to planned and modulated learning experiences.


There are theoretical resources that can be used in the whole spectrum of surgical education, from the selection of the surgical apprentice to the autonomous performance of the experienced surgical professional. The use of these concepts or theories makes it possible to achieve quality surgical teaching, limiting the effects of chance in learning.

Palabras llave : Graduate medical education; surgery; educational models; conceptual frameworks; theories.

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