Walking on the tip of a sword

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 02 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5254
  1. Lei Gong, MD, PHD, Department of General Surgery, Beijing Tsinghua Hospital, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to: Lei Gong gonglei1262{at}

Same as all Chinese boys, I like kung fu very much. As a child I dreamed that one day I could be a knight-errant, with profound kung fu skill and a silver sword, avenging grievances all over the world. When I grew up and became a doctor, and when I diligently mastered the skills to cure disease and save lives, I realized that medicine, especially surgery, is not only a branch of science, but also a kind of art, a type of kung fu that I imagined as a child. Doctors performing an operation not only need top level medical knowledge and experience, but also great meticulousness and fine skills­—like a warrior walking on a sword tip.1 …

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