The doctor as an expert: apprentice, journeyman or master

Jeffrey CL Looi and Choong-Siew Yong
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00255
Published online: 21 August 2017

A commitment to understanding and improving medical expertise is fundamental to training, practice and evaluation of doctors’ performance


  • 1 Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
  • 2 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, South Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Frank JR, Snell L, Sherbino J, editors. The CanMEDS 2015 Physician Competency Framework. 3rd ed. Ottawa: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; 2015. (accessed June 2017).
  • 2. Ericsson KA. Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains. Acad Med 2004; 79: S70-S81.
  • 3. Ericsson KA. An expert-performance perspective of research on medical expertise: the study of clinical performance. Med Educ 2007; 41: 1124-1130.
  • 4. Kahneman D. Thinking fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux; 2011.
  • 5. Rikers RMJP, Verkoeijen PPJL. Clinical expertise research: a history lesson from those who wrote it. Med Educ 2007; 41: 1115-1116.
  • 6. Mylopoulos M, Regehr G. Cognitive metaphors of expertise and knowledge: prospects and limitations for medical education. Med Educ 2007; 41: 1159-1165.
  • 7. Brown PC, Roediger HL, McDaniel MA. Make it stick: the science of successful learning. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press; 2014.
  • 8. Norman G, Young M, Brooks L. Non-analytical models of clinical reasoning: the role of experience. Med Educ 2007; 41: 1140-1145.
  • 9. Kulasegaram KM, Grierson LE, Norman GR. The roles of deliberate practice and innate ability in developing expertise: evidence and implications. Med Educ 2013; 47: 979-989.
  • 10. Moulton CA, Regehr G, Mylopoulos M, MacRae HM. Slowing down when you should: a new model of expert judgement. Acad Med 2007; 82: S109-S117.
  • 11. Hodges B, Regehr G, Martin D. Difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence: novice physicians who are unskilled and unaware of it. Acad Med 2001; 76: S87-S89.
  • 12. Epstein RM, Siegel DJ, Silberman J. Self-monitoring in clinical practice: a challenge for medical educators. J Contin Educ Health Prof 2008; 28: 5-13.
  • 13. Mylopoulos M, Regehr G. Putting the expert together again. Med Educ 2011; 45: 920-926.
  • 14. Schön DA. Educating the reflective practitioner: toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 1987.
  • 15. Moulton CA, Regehr G, Lingard L, et al. “Slowing down when you should”: initiators and influences of the transition from the routine to the effortful. J Gastrointest Surg 2010; 14: 1019-1026.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.