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Clinical Science Invited Commentary| Volume 208, ISSUE 2, P178-179, August 2014

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The eye of the master

      Surgical tasks are performed in a dynamic, ever changing, anxiety-provoking environment that continuously tests the limits of human performance. The ability to maintain control and focus on attention is universally accepted as a key to success. In the operating room, there are many actions going on simultaneously, often distracting the novice learner. It begs the question – what exactly should surgical trainees focus on to acquire skills and produce anxiety-free performances? If we were in the business of training ball players, we would teach them to keep their eye on the ball. This is the advice passed on by my coaches at every level, but can we apply this same advice to students learning surgical skills? The answer is a resounding yes. In the preceding work by Causer et al,
      • Causer J.
      • Harvey A.
      • Snelgrove R.
      • et al.
      Quiet eye training improves surgical knot tying more than traditional training. A randomized controlled trial.
      Dr Vickers has expanded her ground-breaking work from improving athletic performance into the operating room. This method of teaching has the potential of completely revolutionizing the way we teach surgical skills. While their manuscript is well written and important, it fails to provide the background information and supporting evidence that would excite surgical educators to completely rethink the way technical skills are traditionally taught.
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