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Teaching Plastic Surgery from Different Perspectives

Cable, Christian M.D.; Chong, Tae M.D.; Pratt, Daniel D. Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: June 2012 - Volume 129 - Issue 6 - p 1428–1434
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318252f182
Special Topics: Educator's Series

Summary: Just as everyone has a different learning style, teachers too approach the task from different perspectives. There are five basic teaching perspectives or styles: transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing, and social justice. The acronym BIAS is useful to describe the beliefs, intentions, assessments, and strategies associated with each perspective. The authors present a hypothetical 1-week rotation in plastic and reconstructive surgery in which a student encounters instructors who embody the five basic teaching perspectives. By presenting these perspectives, the authors introduce valuable teaching techniques that can benefit all those charged with the education of learners along the spectrum from premedical to continuing education venues. Educational objectives include the following: (1) explain and illustrate different approaches to effective teaching in plastic surgery; (2) introduce readers to the Teaching Perspectives Inventory as a means of determining their primary teaching style; and (3) argue for a “plurality of the good” in teaching.

Temple and Dallas, Texas; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

From Texas A & M Health Science Center College of Medicine and Scott & White Health Care; the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia.

Received for publication July 19, 2011; accepted November 4, 2011.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest in any item discussed in this article. No outside funding sources were used to support this work.

Christian Cable, M.D.; Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and Scott & White Health Care, 4201 South 31st Street, 407D, Temple, Texas 76508,

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons