One of the things I hate most about our sensationalist news media is how quick we are to label someone as a failure after they have failed. One of the topics that I focus on with my consulting practice is that being innovative requires failing frequently but that doesn’t equate to being a “Failure.” This is true in the arts as well as in business. Perhaps television audiences don’t tune-in to our new show, theater goers skip our new release movie (see my Lone Ranger post), or customers choose not to buy our new product. Each of these are all very complicated endeavors, each with an infinite amount of variables that we can try to control for. We can layout the most thorough and thoughtful plan but sometimes we will miss the mark – we will fail.
In an NY Times Op-Ed article yesterday, neurosurgeon and journalist Sanjay Gupta (@sanjayguptaCNN) cited a recent anonymous survey where orthopedic surgeons said “24 percent of the tests they ordered were medically unnecessary.” The suggestion was that the surgeons were performing the unnecessary tests as a form of “defensive medicine” that is meant less to help the patient than to protect the doctor and hospital from lawsuits. Why has it come to this? How has society come to expect “zero defects” from the medical industry?
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