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Pilot training and surgical education: flying towards a brighter future
  1. Mr Hanad Ahmed1,
  2. Alexander Scott2
  1. 1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
  2. 2 Department of General Surgery, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley GU16 7UJ, UK
  1. Correspondence to Hanad Ahmed, University of Southampton, Faculty of Medicine, 12 University Rd, Building 85, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK; Ha1g14{at}


Aim Human factors, surgery and aviation are intimately tied together by the common threads of error, risk and interpersonal relationships. A plethora of research abounds in all disciplines individually. The lessons learnt in one domain however are not unique and can be shared between all to promote best practice, further research and a greater understanding at a fundamental level.

Methods A structured, thematic, literature review was performed. PubMed, EMBASE and Ovid MEDLINE databases were interrogated directly. The Health Foundation, National Health Service and Department of Health online databases were used through querying intrinsic search functions.

Results With expanding use of technologies such as checklists, there is a gap left to better address and understand the nuances and roles of stress, communication and emotion on both learning and clinical practice. These can be prominent in the high-pressure environments shared between aviation and surgery.

Conclusions The authors explore lessons learnt from aviation, the human factors applicable to both and how they can be extrapolated to improve patient safety outcomes and promote the use of the ‘Software, Hardware, Environment, Liveware’ tool to aid practice.

  • Medical education & training

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  • Contributors HA and AS contributed equally.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.