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Medical News & Perspectives
December 11, 2002

Practice Makes Perfect

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JAMA. 2002;288(22):2808-2812. doi:10.1001/jama.288.22.2808-JMN1211-2-1

Boston—As surgical resident Atul Gawande, MD, points out in his essay, "Education of a Knife," included in Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, medicine has long faced a conflict between "the imperative to give patients the best possible care and the need to provide novices with experience." Although strict supervisory provisions and graduated stages of responsibility are set up to provide guidance for physicians and protection for patients, at some point every physician must solo for the first time.

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