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Not Knowing What You Don't Know

I am doing my problem-based-learning (PBL) background research and this picture popped into my head.

This diagram represents how we view knowledge and applies to any field of subject, not just medicine. As you study any subject more in-depth, you soon realize that you don’t know anything at all. As your knowledge increases, so does your awareness of what you don’t know. I can easily see how a person can devote their entire lives to learning about the kidneys, the brainĀ or even an obscureĀ protein. The knowledge never stops growing. It’s quite a humbling experience.

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  1. CountyRat
    CountyRat October 1, 2008

    Someone once compared learning to climbing a flag pole; the higher you climb, the more unexplored territory you see out beyond your reach.

    I do not know anything about you at all, OSMD, but reading your post makes me think that you are going to be an excellent doctor.

  2. Nate
    Nate October 1, 2008

    That is one of the beautiful intrinsic characteristics of life. Learning, I think, is a quality that defines life. It also is one of the processes every medical doctor should treasure.

    I love your blog. It’s very insightful.

  3. […] wrote about the uncertainty in medicine four years ago when I started medical school. At first you are unaware of the vastness of knowledge […]

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