Letter to (fellow) young doctors: More kairos with less chronos

Steven C. Cunningham, E. R.H. Sutton Erica

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Current restrictions on work hours have presented residents with a dilemma: how to derive the same or improved surgical experience and expertise but with less time to do so? The answer clearly must include an increase in efficiency, defined here simply as doing more with less time. Ancient Greek distinguished 2 words for time: chronos, chronological, linear, quantitative time as measured by clocks and calendars; and kairos: qualitative time, time in relation to human activity, a moment of indeterminate duration in which something happens. Our goal as residents should be to gain more kairos given limited chronos. Here we review various tools, both concrete and abstract, useful to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in surgical education. We suggest that residents equipped with adequate tools should be able to benefit from more kairos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-331
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Innovation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • 80-hour
  • Chronos
  • Communication
  • DVD
  • Kairos
  • Simulation
  • Surgery residency
  • Surgical curriculum
  • Surgical education
  • Technology
  • Teleconference
  • Web casts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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