I very well remember my first experiences as a medical student in the operating room. I was ordered to stand in a corner with my back to the wall (just as the surgeon ordered), almost motionless because of the staff’s worry that I might touch and contaminate something sterile. I could only listen to the surgeon describing what he was doing. That was a humiliating experience and I was close to abandoning my goal of becoming a surgeon.
Traditionally, technical skills in surgery are taught by the “apprentice model”: trainee surgeons learn under supervision in the operating room, by performing portions of or complete real operations on real patients.