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Learning and Teaching Motor Skills in Regional Anesthesia: A Different Perspective

Slater, Reuben J. BSc (Hon), BMed, FANZCA*; Castanelli, Damian J. MBBS, MClin Ed, FANZCA†‡; Barrington, Michael J. PhD, MBBS, FANZCA

Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: May/June 2014 - Volume 39 - Issue 3 - p 230–239
doi: 10.1097/AAP.0000000000000072

Existing literature on learning in regional anesthesia broadly covers the rate of skill acquisition and the structure of educational programs. A complementary body of literature spanning psychology to medical education can be found describing skill acquisition in other fields. Concepts described in this literature have direct application to the teaching of regional anesthesia. This review introduces a selection of these complementary educational concepts, applying them to ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia skills education.

Key educational concepts presented in this article can be divided into 3 sections, namely, how residents acquire manual skills, how tutors teach, and type of feedback.

From the *Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy; †Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Monash Medical Centre; ‡Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Monash University; and §Melbourne Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Accepted for publication February 6, 2014.

Address correspondence to: Reuben J. Slater, BSc (Hon), BMed, FANZCA, Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.