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Being Mortal


An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life...
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Discuss Being Mortal by Atul Gawande:
Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

Created: 09/01/17

Replies: 7

Posted Sep. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? At work, in your family, at whatever skills you have? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? Do you know people who define themselves by their failures? (Are they fun to be with?) How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 185

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RE: Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

I think it would be very sad if people only define themselves by failures. Our lives are full of both and we should of course learn from both experiences. Fortunately most of the people I have encountered were fairly balanced.


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

I've had many successes in my life, but I am sometimes haunted by a few failures. I think we should concentrate on the positives in our lives though. I'm not sure how to answer that for doctors. They aren't trained to really discover a patient's personal wishes, just to treat the symptoms of physical illness. The balance would be to treat both the physical symptoms and respect, and try to fulfill, the patients wishes.


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 40

RE: Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

I agree with Marcia S., the failures haunt me.

It's the moments where there is nothing you can do to stop the inevitable that really make me stop and contemplate what am I doing and why. This book made me rethink the battle against the immutable truth- it seems that I need to think more of Judo. Using the already existing motion to my benefit rather than fight against it.

For doctors the message seems to be what other than the cure can we define as success? If we redefine the "illness" can we redefine the cure? And if so, can we shape our discussion of success and failure?


Posted Sep. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 39

RE: Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

I had a teacher once who said, if you haven't failed, you haven't tried. Of course, it's a bit different in medicine - the outcomes are literally life and death. But what is failure, and what is success? We all are going to die someday of something. That can't be called "failure". Is it a "success" to keep someone alive but in agonizing pain? I don't think so.


Posted Sep. 19, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janp

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 31

RE: Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

We should define ourselves by our worth. How we deal with successes and failures makes us who we are. I judge my worth by how I feel at the end of a day. It includes interactions with people and animals and experiences and events that took place. I try to have more days of feeling worthy, ergo "successful".


Posted Sep. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickic

Join Date: 09/15/14

Posts: 35

RE: Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

Perhaps the important thing is to redefine failure in medicine. It does not mean inability to cure.


Posted Sep. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 104

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RE: Doctors, and probably the rest of us, tend to define themselves by their successes, not their failures. Is this true in your life? Should we define ourselves more by our failures? How can doctors, and the rest of us, strike a balance?

Rather than defining ourselves by our failures, I think we need to try and learn from them. No one is successful at everything. Acknowledge where you went wrong and try to make sure you don't make the same mistakes again.


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