Approaches to Teaching Medical Procedural Skills: A Scoping Review

Main Article Content

Kersi Taraporewalla Lars Eriksson Paul Barach Jeffrey Lipman André Van Zundert


Background. Current approaches to teaching medical procedural skills were developed over 70 years ago. Developments in teaching, movement control, motor learning, educational technology, and understanding of human cognition need to be integrated into the contemporary teaching of medical procedural skills.

Objective. This scoping review analyses approaches to developing motor skills and examines the key elements supporting contemporary medical procedural skills training.

Design. The PRISMA-ScR extension was employed in this review. The methodology had twenty applicable items. The databases used were PubMed, ERIC, PsycINFO, CINAHL, SPORTdiscus, ProQuest Education database, A+Education, Scopus and Web of Science to identify papers and texts published between 1980 and 2023 related to frameworks for teaching medical psychomotor tasks, motor skills, and motor learning to inform approaches to developing medical procedural skills. Data were extracted independently by each of the two researchers, using a standardised form.

Results. Three main framework models were identified. An early model, a ‘see one, do one, teach one’ mentoring model, was recognised. The cognitive-based representative model gained popularity for medical procedural skill development in the 1990s and persists in simulation-based training. Most biomedical publications promote a cognitive representative model of skill development. The non-medical domains propose an ecological model of movements leading to a constraint-led approach. There is a lack of experimental evidence to support the effectiveness of these frameworks.

Conclusions. While medical education trains with a cognitive-based representative model, other domains have successfully evolved to a constraint-led approach. Further investigation into the applicability and evaluation of ecological models in medical procedural skills development is needed.

Scoping review registration: This protocol has been registered with the Open Science Framework.

Keywords: Procedural skills, mentoring, representative model, constraint-led approach

Article Details

How to Cite
TARAPOREWALLA, Kersi et al. Approaches to Teaching Medical Procedural Skills: A Scoping Review. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 5, may 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 june 2024. doi:
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