Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Foundation of wisdom: “I don’t know”

Osler: “Knowledge is proud that he has learnt so much; wisdom is humble that he knows no more”

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 05 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6362
  1. Joseph Zacharias, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon
  1. Lancashire Cardiac Centre, Victoria Hospital, Blackpool FY3 8NP, UK
  1. drjzacharias{at}

Morgan1 and Abbasi2 highlight the importance of humility in medicine. Morgan seems to suggest that the phrase “I don’t know” is a term to admit the limits of one’s knowledge. Abbasi suggests these three words are the foundation of wisdom. Most of …

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