Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Regrets, I have a few

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b107 (Published 14 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b107

What is regret?

Regret is wisdom gained with age. Throughout life, we make many mistakes,
some of which we later recognize. With this recognition, comes regret and
painful nostalgia. So regret is an inevitable consequence of living and learning.
Let’s learn to expect and accept regret, even though it is so poignant and
haunting. As the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be
understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 March 2009
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA