When I first learned how to drive, I felt very comfortable with what I learned from drivers’ education and from my parents. However, no matter how good our reflexes are when we are young, nothing replaces experience. One reason is the way “close calls” (or mistakes) are better imprinted in our brain.
The key to success is managing the mistakes by trying to minimize and recognize them, and most importantly to learn from them. Otherwise, ten years of experience can easily be one year of experience ten times over. Every “overnight success” starts with a series of failures. The most successful people have remarkable resilience and perseverance.
Here are the methods that I practiced during my 25 years of surgical experience:
- Complete immersion in the surgical residency experience
- Start with extremely easy procedures and slowly graduate to the more complex
- Always seek advice from those who have succeeded
- Track data (the ultimate introspection)
- Review video footage from my own procedures in order to identify better ways to deliver care
- Never forget that the learning curve is eternal