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Teaching Plastic Surgeons How to Be Better Teachers

Weber, Robert A. M.D.; Armstrong, Elizabeth G. Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2012 - Volume 129 - Issue 5 - p 1191–1197
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318252f19d
Special Topics: Educator's Series

Summary: The purpose of this article is to introduce plastic surgeons to a theory of adult education. Most surgeons have been hired by their parent institution because of their clinical skills, and rightly so. At the same time, these same surgeons choose or are expected to be involved to varying degrees in the surgical education process with medical students, surgical residents, fellows, and allied health workers. Likewise, busy surgical residents are also expected to teach other residents and students, and yet these two groups of teachers of surgery have little or no training in the theory and practice of adult education. This article has four major sections. The first is a scenario designed to bring to mind a context and set of ideas with which the reader is already familiar. The second provides new information, Kolb's theory of adult learning and Arseneau and Rodenberg's teaching principles, and discusses their implications. The third section is designed to give the reader an opportunity to work with the new knowledge and practice possible applications, and the fourth encourages the reader to use the new knowledge in concrete ways in a real-world environment.

Temple, Texas; and Cambridge, Mass.

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Scott & White Healthcare/Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School and Harvard Macy Institute.

Received for publication August 19, 2011; accepted October 21, 2011.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. No outside funding was received.

Robert A. Weber, M.D.; Scott & White Healthcare, 2401 South 31st Street, Temple, Texas 76508,

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons