eoSurgical are now part of the Limbs & Things family

Achieving goals: mastery or performance?


Most people set themselves goals of one sort or another. Surgeons seem particularly goal driven. We seek first to be selected into a surgical training program, then we study to pass exams, we work hard to log cases, we complete workplace-based assessments, and then defend ourselves at annual reviews of performance. These are largely performance orientated goals or hurdles. They are important but they are also a means to an end.

The ultimate aim is to perform well in the real world, on real patients, working with real colleagues. This is mastery. Career long, the best surgeons strive to master their role.

Where does eoSurgical sit amongst these two goal orientations, performance and mastery? In some ways, the tasks you perform in eoSim encapsulate performance-driven learning. The task is set, the clock begins, your instrument movement metrics are collated, and on completion you are provided with a summary and feedback for improving. We provide thresholds for attaining a specified level of performance for progression. However, our surgical training platform can take you much further.

A mastery orientation to learning involves mastering a task according to standards set by the learner themselves. They use their own insight to develop new skills and acquire new knowledge. A surgeon may therefore return to a given eoSim task (or indeed develop their own task), informed by their own personal assessment of learning needs. How could I have performed better during that real procedure? What nuance of technique can I personally focus on to advance?

Go further yet and you enter the realm of innovation: is there an even better way of doing this? Is there a better instrument for this? Can I develop a better instrument for this? All this is feasible on the eoSim platform - which we are proud is now in use on over 90 countries across the world.

Mark Hughes

Consultant Neurosurgeon and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh

Director, eoSurgical


Email: mark.hughes@eosurgical.com

Twitter: @eosurgical