Thursday, September 10, 2009

Limits of Knowledge?

I really liked this article on the limits of medical science in treating and healing medical conditions (especially in relieving pain).

"'First do no harm' is the guiding principle we learned in medical school. But one skill that is not taught is an easy way to say, 'There is nothing more I can offer you'. I’ve learned that my specialty, like every other, has its limitations. I’ve learned not to take those limitations personally: they are not a reflection of my inadequacies, merely the current state of the science. (Mastering this is where science becomes art.)

I’ve learned, too, that it is important that I come to terms with these therapeutic gaps first, so I am effectively able to convey realistic expectations, not perpetuate medical myth. At last, I’ve grown more comfortable with two of the hardest words in a doctor’s vocabulary: 'enough' and 'no'."

Much the same could be said about the state of macroeconomics and the inability of economists to analyze, explain and then successfully combat economic crises like the Great Recession!

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