Embodied learning is an educational concept that has been applied to various aspects of education, but only touched on in medical education, largely in relation to the teaching and learning of anatomy. Thus far, the medical literature has not addressed embodied learning as it specifically relates to learning to operate and be a surgeon. This paper will discuss relevant principles of embodied learning/cognition, ways it is important both for learning to function as a surgeon and for learning to perform technical aspects of surgery, and finally will discuss implications for surgical education. In particular, it will address ways in which embodied learning can and should be incorporated into educational activities specific to surgery.
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