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Medicine flaunts successes and tends to hide the failures that are inevitable along the way. Failing within healthcare is a particularly sensitive issue, one that rarely gets attention.
Failure is inevitable, just as Susan Mayor writes - it is inherent to the research process, and all victories. Outside of medicine, James Dyson had 5,127 failed prototypes before he developed the vacuum cleaner we all know today. A shift in mindset needs to occur, one which embraces failure, and sees it as part of a journey to learn and progress. Not something which should be hidden.
Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, the 2012 Nobel Prize winner, whose research on cell receptors was the basic science application for half of all drugs used in medical treatment, has spoken about how failure was ultimately the key to his success. Openly attesting that ‘science is 99 percent failure, and that’s an optimistic view’. He provides an example of how developing a mindset which embraces and accepts failure can help deal with and work past frustrations that come with failure.
Instead of remembering the achievements, we need to remember the missed shots that get us there. Failure need not be a taboo word, but instead be an indicator of how passion and persistence matter to ultimately lead to success.