Vols. Videos

Surgical Decision Making

Last Updated: January 15, 2020

There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.

Jim Lovell

One of the most difficult aspects of microsurgery to teach trainees is intraoperative decision making. While a master surgeon subconsciously analyzes intraoperative data and intuitively selects the best course of action, an assistant or observer might be stymied by changing intraoperative conditions or, worse, might not even realize that a decision must be made or a bad decision was just made. Surgeon's self-awareness of an error is one of the most detrimental errors that affects the patient severely.

As with other nontechnical skills, many of the key tenets of critical decision m...