Self-monitoring in Surgical Practice: Slowing Down When You Should
Self-regulation is the cornerstone of autonomy for any profession, with surgery a classic example. Each surgeon must regulate his or her own performance paying attention to what matters and thinking clearly during the moment-to-moment activities of daily practice. To be effective self-monitors of our choices, behaviour, decisions and judgement, we must understand the cognitive processes at work within us. This chapter explores various literatures that inform the way surgeons think and how they monitor their thinking so that they ‘slow down when they should’ during the critical aspects of practice. The concept of mindful practice is introduced as a method for gaining control over the self-monitoring activities of daily performance.