When you fail in medicine, it feels like you fail in life—and that needs to change

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  • Jianqing Wu says:

    Real problems are in the foundation of medicine. See my long article: Initiatives for Building Infrastructure For Preventing and Curing 90% of Chronic Diseases and Saving Lives on The Planet. https://osf.io/j8qvf

  • CJ says:

    I really enjoyed reading your article. I am a second year resident and already feel like I’ve faced my fair share of failure in my very short career. It’s been very challenging at times and I’ve dealt with a lot of grief and have struggled with my confidence. Your statement from Its Always Sunny really resonated with me. It’s vey challenging at times to disconnect from your role as a physician, which can often adds extra stress and strain. I agree that being more vocal and transparent about failures would go a long way. However, I’m curious how to begin this discussion, as many providers do view perfectionism as the goal and may feel reluctant to share openly in this way.

  • Jianqing Wu says:

    The failure of medicine is not due to problems in medicine, but the presumptions used to build the foundation of medicine. The four core presumptions: population-based approach, reductionist model, dualism, and binary disease classification are all wrong. I have studied those problems for two decades and proved them in various articles. See detailed evidence in http://www.igoosa.com. Those things discussed are small things compared with the model failure. Diseases including cancer are much more curable than they appear to be. A real solution is to fix the legal framework or the medical model. Cancer could be solved in ten years, but few people act.

  • Ediriweera Desapriya says:

    I truly enjoyed reading this perspective article. However, I certainly do not agree with the authors statement. “But making a clinical error is different from experiencing failure”. As I strongly believe that patient safety is a global priority and I always had a dream of how to minimize or prevent medical errors and I wrote a letter to the Editor CMAJ (2004) “In the United Kingdom, “a mandatory no-name, no-blame national system for reporting ‘failures, mistakes and near misses’” was to be implemented in 2002 under the National Patient Safety Agency”. We badly need similar system in Canada. If we have a transparent registry -it would be a powerful learning tool- which could eventually use- clinicians daily practices to minimize and prevent medical errors.


Wilson Kwong


Wilson Kwong is an Internal Medicine and Palliative Care specialist in Toronto and a passionate cinephile in his spare time.

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