Articles  |   March 2018
The Pursuit of Expertise in Anesthesia: A Cognitive Perspective
Author Affiliations
  • Deborah A. Schwengel, M.D., M.E.H.P.
    Patient Safety Editorial Board
Article Information
Critical Care / Education / CPD / Patient Safety / Pediatric Anesthesia / Articles
Articles   |   March 2018
The Pursuit of Expertise in Anesthesia: A Cognitive Perspective
ASA Monitor 03 2018, Vol.82, 22-24.
ASA Monitor 03 2018, Vol.82, 22-24.
Every anesthesiologist we know vividly remembers their first weeks of anesthesiology training – excitement with an overwhelming volume of things to learn. Medical knowledge, fear of harming a patient, technical skills and navigating the O.R. culture all seemed like insurmountable hurdles. Somehow, we made it through orientation, then CA-1, CA-2 and CA-3 years. Now as teachers of residents, many of us watch trainees start as starry-eyed novices and see them grow into competent care providers; their maturity evident as their performance becomes seamless, rehearsed over years of training.
Successful completion of graduate medical training and certification are crucial first steps for independent practice; however, learning never ends. Biomedical science is a dynamic field of study constantly providing new information. It is essential to stay current with advances in anesthesiology to be an effective provider. As part of achieving competency, trainees are expected to demonstrate reflective practice and lifelong learning skills. The premise is that residents are not only ready for independent practice but also well on their way to expertise through improvement beyond residency. What are the factors that help achieve and maintain expertise? In this article, we will use a cognitive perspective to explore this question.
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