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Pilot training and surgical education: flying towards a brighter future


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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