A FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR ANDRAGOGY IN ORAL and MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY/THE USE OF SOCRATIC TEACHING

Ok, if you are reading this blog entry you are certainly a one percenter. Maybe you are even a part of the problem or part of the solution. At any rate andragogies also called “medical pimping” has been a part of medical and surgical training forever (at least my forever). (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 77:1101-1102, 2019) This is particularly close to my heart in that I feel that much of my skill and surgical/medical demeanor (which I feel has been proven over time to reflect excellence and stability) was shaped significantly by this process.

“Andragogy” and “medical pimping” can take many forms. In our case it was the constant challenging through questioning under stressful situations which was provided by so many of my teachers and mentors. If you receive these challenges as an affront or an insult, you are looking at it like a child who feels that discipline from a parent is mean or a form of punishment or torture. The truth is that challenging training and especially extreme challenging training under duress is what differentiates a basic soldier from an elite warrior such as a ranger or a Navy Seal. It is also what differentiates a basic surgeon from an elite or excellent surgeon. It is the ability to handle a situation calmly, with great skill and ability, and with a continually recalibrating proactive approach. This is part of your preparation and this is part of your application during surgery.

There is a big push in today’s training to try to reduce stress, reduce challenges, and provide an “easier path” for surgical training. The goal is to create a more homogenous result.

I am so grateful to the many men and women who were involved in my training who challenged me, “pimped me,” stressed me, and often frustrated me. I recognized it then and I really recognize it now…they loved me enough to want to make me into the best surgeon possible – who wanted my training to exceed the greatest challenges I might experience in the real world.