To make ineptitude as much our struggle as ignorance

Jun 08, 2012

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Thinking about John’s cases as a small sample of the difficulties we face an early-21st-century medicine, I was struck by how greatly the balance of ignorance and ineptitude has shifted. For nearly all of history, people’s lives have been governed primarily by ignorance. This was nowhere more clear than with the illnesses that befell us. We knew little about what caused them or what could be done to remedy them. But sometime over the last several decades — and it is only over the last several decades– science has filled in enough knowledge to make ineptitude as much our struggle as ignorance.

So, what is new in medicine? Understanding this. Atul Gawande.

Post by Jonathan Rees

Clinical academic and skin watcher at the University of Edinburgh

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