The Role of Power in Surgical Education: A Foucauldian Perspective

  • Nancy McNaughtonEmail author
  • Ryan Snelgrove
Part of the Innovation and Change in Professional Education book series (ICPE, volume 17)


A Foucauldian approach to the topic of power in surgical education engages constructivist and critical perspectives that consider social and clinical dimensions of training. A description of a Morbidity & Mortality (M&M) round is analysed using a Foucauldian concept of discourse to illustrate the different ways in which power is embedded in everyday practices. The authors focus on two discourses that discipline trainees beyond the scope of their knowledge and skill acquisition in order to make visible how implicit professional ideas influence surgical training.


Foucault Discourse M&M rounds Disciplinary power Pastoral power 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Learning Innovation and SimulationMichener Institute for Education at UHNTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry – Surgery DepartmentUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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