Student-led learning: A new teaching paradigm for surgical skills

Jen Hoogenes, Polina Mironova, Oleg Safir, Sydney A. McQueen, Hesham Abdelbary, Michael Drexler, Markku Nousiainen, Peter Ferguson, William Kraemer, Benjamin Alman, Richard K. Reznick, Ranil R. Sonnadara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Competency-based education and simulation are being used more frequently in surgical skills curricula. We explored a novel student-led learning paradigm, which allows trainees to become more active participants in the learning process while maintaining expert guidance and supervision.

Methods Twelve first-year orthopedic residents were randomized to either a student-led (SL) or a traditional instructor-led group during an intensive, month-long, laboratory-based technical skills training course. A rigorous qualitative-description approach was used for analysis.

Results Four prominent themes emerged: instructional style, feedback, peer and instructor collaboration, and self-efficacy. Compared with the instructor-led group, there was more peer assistance, feedback, collaboration, and hands-on and active learning observed in the SL group.

Conclusions The flexible and socially rich nature of the SL learning environment may aid in development of both technical and nontechnical skills early in residency and ultimately privilege later clinical learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Competency-based education
  • Non-technical skills
  • Residency
  • Residents
  • Surgical education
  • Surgical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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