Becoming An Expert: 4 Strategies From Anders Ericsson

  1. Effort, Focus, Automaticity, and Sustained Motivation
    • 20 – 30 year career without improvement
    • Fighting the grind to do the same thing without thinking over and over again
    • Drive by Dan Pink – Autonomy, Purpose, Mastery
  2. Chunking, Mental Representations, Skill vs Knowledge
    • Chessboard recall
    • Basic exam and repetition
    • Structured movement analysis (gait cycle – running vs walking)
    • Normal compared to abnormal (ex. lachman’s, McMurray Test, Y balance)
  3. Feedback and Reflection
    • Perceptibly visual stimuli (video analysis)
    • Documentation and Case Review (my greatest weakness, how to get feedback, investment in creating a community that allows for greater access and long term analysis)
    • Perceptual motor performance of exam and treatment
    • Immediate Feedback
    • Perfect Feedback vs Mentor Feedback
  4. Case Studies
    • From research
    • From my own practice (video library of known diagnoses and impacts on motor performance)

In the end, the key to expertise from this article is to develop a practice routine that requires a high level of effort (which requires high levels of motivation), development of clear mental representations (supported by chunking of information), focus on the execution of skills (not just knowledge), and immediate feedback (how the process was executed to determine areas for improvement, pain relief, consistency in movement analysis, etc).  Finally, case studies allow for comparison and refining of skills against other experts. Case study allows for improved recognition of the more common diagnoses and highlight those that require more in depth analysis.

To read the full article, click here.

Ericsson, K. A. Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains. Academic medicine 79, S70–S81 (2004).