© 2011

Surgical Education

Theorising an Emerging Domain

  • Heather Fry
  • Roger Kneebone

Part of the Advances in Medical Education book series (AMEDUC, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Roger Kneebone, Heather Fry
      Pages 3-17
    3. Roger Kneebone
      Pages 37-54
    4. Heather Fry, Nick Sevdalis, Roger Kneebone
      Pages 55-72
  3. Part II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Lambert W. T. Schuwirth, Cees P. M. van der Vleuten
      Pages 75-90
    3. K. Anders Ericsson
      Pages 107-121
    4. Fernando Bello, Harry Brenton
      Pages 123-149
    5. Debra Nestel, Lesley Bentley
      Pages 151-168
    6. Carol-anne Moulton, Ronald M. Epstein
      Pages 169-182
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 231-256

About this book


This book delineates surgical education as a new and emerging field of academic enquiry. Surgical (as opposed to medical) education is emerging as a distinct field with its own identity. Surgeons have started to professionalise their educational role, and draw professional, non-surgeon educators into the field.

Surgery is a near unique environment of learning and practice.  The defining characteristic of ‘surgical’ specialties is the performance of invasive procedures, (alongside the myriad of diagnostic and other elements which are shared with other clinicians). This craft component is central to the surgeon’s role, as is teamworking.  Yet the unique characteristics of this field have been little addressed from an educational perspective, nor have its possibilities as a new research domain been mapped. This book thus seeks to explore surgical education from a number of dimensions, and draw attention to theorising it and establishing its epistemological foundations.At the same time it points to the essential links between theory and practice.

Surgical education is important and the initiative timely; the two main co-authors use their combined perspectives and expertise to map the domain’s co-ordinates. Complementing this strong sense of direction are invited chapters from carefully selected contributors, each an outstanding expert in his or her field. This book is aimed at surgeons, other clinicians, non-clinicians, educators, and others interested in this new domain.


Clinical reasoning Holistic Simulation Medical Education Patient Focused Simulation Reflective Practice Surgical Team Working Surgical education Surgical simulation Technical Expertise Threshold concepts

Editors and affiliations

  • Heather Fry
    • 1
  • Roger Kneebone
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Educational DevelopmentImperial College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.St. Mary' Hospital London, Dept. Biosurgery & Surgical TechnologyImperial College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Heather Fry is Director (Education and Participation) at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).  Prior to joining HEFCE in 2008 she worked at universities in England and overseas, including at Imperial College London, and the Institute of Education and Barts and London Medical and Dental School, both University of London.  She also worked for many years as education faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.  She has taught and researched in a number of areas, including being joint founder and co-director of the UK’s first master’s in Surgical Education at Imperial, with Roger Kneebone. Her expertise is in the policy of higher and professional education and facilitating learning in these two contexts. She has published extensively across her varied areas of interest.

 Roger Kneebone is Reader in Surgical Education at Imperial College London. Roger trained first as a general surgeon, then changed course to become a general practitioner and GP trainer in a large group practice near Bath. In 2003, after completing his PhD in surgical education, Roger joined Imperial College London. His current research focuses on using simulation to contextualise clinical learning, and on mapping clinical environments from a pedagogical perspective. He has developed innovative approaches to learning and assessing clinical procedures (using hybrid combinations of models and simulated patients) and is currently developing lightweight, portable yet realistic surgical environments for training and assessment. Roger publishes extensively and directs Imperial’s Masters in Education (M Ed) in Surgical Education.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Surgical Education
  • Book Subtitle Theorising an Emerging Domain
  • Editors Heather Fry
    Roger Kneebone
  • Series Title Advances in Medical Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title Advs in Medical Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-94-007-1681-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-007-3795-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-007-1682-7
  • Series ISSN 2211-1298
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-1301
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 258
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Medical Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“This volume in the Advances in Medical Education series is dedicated to surgical education. … It is aimed at surgeons, other clinicians, nonclinicians, educators, and others interested in this new domain. … Since the book focuses on surgical education and tries to elaborate different aspects and approaches to this wide and complex field, it is unique. … it is useful resource for surgeons and educators (surgical or nonsurgical) who have an interest in educational research and administration.” (Hisakazu Hoshi, Doody’s Review Service, April, 2012)