Mastery Musing

I’m a big fan of The Great British Bake Off where amateur competitors show off their baking techniques and are judged by master bakers Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.  The show is divided into three “bakes,” the second of which is the technical bake. The technical bake is usually a more obscure recipe that the competitors have never done. The bakers have to apply their knowledge and skills from other recipes in the technical bake.  Often, whoever wins this segment is deemed the “master baker” for the show.

This month’s Academic Medicine has a number of articles on mastery learning and expert-performance.  The principles of mastery learning include:

1.An initial assessment

2 Clear learning objectives sequenced with increasing difficulty

3.Educational activities such as deliberate practice or reading

4.Designation of a criterion for advancement

5.Testing; advancement when the criterion for mastery is met

6. Continued practice and review.

Our biggest challenge is guiding and evaluating our learners on the “technical bakes.” How do the learners integrate and apply their knowledge and skills to new situations, whether it is a new procedural skill or a patient with an atypical presentation. This month’s journal is “food for thought.”

“We love the dangerous cliffs of mountains, winding roads and rivers; jagged canyons and waterfalls seem most beautiful. We love the shadow of a cloud obstructing the sun and watch both the cloud and its cheerful shadow. There is something perfect to be found in the imperfect: the law keeps balance through the juxtaposition of beauty, which gains perfection through nurtured imperfection. Everything that looks too perfect is not perfect: it is too perfect to be perfect—real perfection is not too obvious; it requires effort while riding over the winding roads and flying to the clear sky to find the shadow of a cloud that was alive not long ago. That's why we love the imperfect shapes in nature and in the works of art, look for an intentional error as a sign of the golden key and sincerity found in true mastery. “

Dejan Stojanovic


Whole Me, Whole We Conference Talks

2015 Mark Hansen Lecture: Embracing Risk by Ildi Martonffy, MD

Upcoming Conferences/Events

November 18-20: TEDMED LIVE at UW

January 28-31: STFM Conference on Medical Student Education

April 16-17:Lown Institute Annual Conference

April 18-19: Family Medicine Congressional Conference

April 30-May 4: STFM Annual Spring Conference



Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Thanksgiving!