The Right Way to Teach Left-Handed Residents: Strategies for Training by Right Handers

Nikhil K. Prasad, Charlotte Kvasnovsky, Eric S. Wise, Stephen M. Kavic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Left-handed (LH) residents remain underrepresented among surgical trainees, and there are few available data on how best to train them. The challenge is amplified when pairing a LH resident with a right-handed (RH) mentor. This report provides recommendations on how to improve the training of LH surgeons in a safe and effective manner. Methods: A comprehensive literature review was performed using different databases and search engines to identify all articles relevant to the training of LH residents. Results: A total of 40 articles highlighted the challenges for LH surgical residents and RH mentors. Our recommendations are based on the following 4 themes: identifying inherent differences in left vs. RH residents, providing guidance to RH mentors training LH residents, adapting the RH environment to the LH surgeon, and maximizing safety during training. Conclusion: An organized approach needs to be taken in training the LH resident. Changes should be instituted at program-wide and national levels to ensure that the training experience of the sinistral surgical resident is optimized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Association of Program Directors in Surgery


  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • functional laterality
  • laparoscopy
  • motor skills
  • surgeons


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