Improving Education and Performance with Self-Regulation, Psychological Safety and Managing Cognitive Load
By Carla Todaro, MD, from the IARS, AUA and SOCCA 2019 Annual Meetings*
The AUA Educational Advisory Board Panel I: Self-Regulation and its Role in Education and Performance, moderated by Keith Baker, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital, included three thought-provoking presentations on self-regulation, psychological safety, and managing and reducing cognitive load to improve education and performance.
The first speaker Daniel Saddawi-Konefka, MD, MBA, Massachusetts General Hospital, focused his topic on “Self-Regulation: What Is It, and How Does It Help Education and Performance?” Dr. Konefka’s main takeaway was that it is important to have a proactive self-directed process for attaining goals and remember to follow the sequence plan — act — monitor — reflect.
How do you manage self control and stay aware that there are limited resources and sometimes this can fail? And if it fails? Plans are the resource.
He explained that humans are not built to do new things. It’s easier for the mind to accept habits and the things we already know. It necessary to be aware that long tasks require an emotional control even if you experience an ego depletion along the way. To have plans is the only way to automate. Pick a goal and know how to achieve the goal using the self-regulation.
The second speaker Sara Goldhaber-Fiebert, MD, Stanford University presented on “The Interaction between Psychological Safety and Self-Regulation.”
Self-regulation (individual) and psychological safety (system) influence one another. She said to err is human and errors happen. How can teams manage critical events more effectively? The use of Emergency Manual Uses During Perioperative Critical Events can be the solution and teamwork is also an essential component of achieving high reliability.
To clear the hurdle, it is necessary to build consistent self-regulation and develop high psychological safety as well as leader inclusiveness. Inviting participation and developing a productive response to a task can help to build this framework. She reminded us to keep in mind that a team of experts does not equal an expert team. The key to success is integration.
Keith Littlewood, MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine closed the talk by discussing “Managing and Reducing Cognitive Load for Better Education and Performance.” According to Dr. Littlewood, metacognition is one of the most important areas in which we are currently failing our students and trainees.
Effective management of cognitive load enables us to process information, reflect, and enhance our understanding.
*Coverage from the AUA Educational Advisory Board Panel I: Self-Regulation and its Role in Education and Performance during the AUA 2019 Annual Meeting