Dr Uttam Shiralker


Dr Uttam Shiralkar, FRCS, MRPsych, is a surgical performance coach based in the UK.

Uttam worked as a surgeon for 15 years in the UK, India, and the US before moving to psychiatry. This transition was the result of the medical problems he faced after a serious car accident. While working in psychiatry, it became clear to him the profound impact that a surgeon’s psychology has on performance and surgical outcomes. This revelation inspired him to bring psychological research into surgical practice and training.

His first book, Smart Surgeons, Sharp Decisions was an initial step in bringing psychology and surgery together. In his second book, Cognitive Simulation, Uttam wrote about the importance of cognitive factors and how surgeons can use them to improve operative skills. His third book, Surgeon, Heal Thyself focused on stress management.

Uttam’s newest book, Surgical Metacognition: Smarter Decision-making for Surgeons, focuses on the key tool that underlies surgical expertise – metacognition, i.e., ‘thinking about thinking.’ Understanding metacognition and how to develop and teach it is an important step in improving a surgeon’s self-awareness, astute thinking, and clinical decision-making. By taking heed of psychological studies discussed in the book – which have already been successfully taken on board by professions such as business, military, and aviation – surgery as a profession and surgeons as individuals can progress to higher levels of expertise.

For more than a decade Uttam has helped many surgeons at various levels of their careers on a range of issues, providing mentorship, conducting research, speaking at meetings, and running workshops.


Surgical Psychology