Innocence revisited

Innocence revisited – 39

John Scott



Professor Sir John Scott reminds us that behaviour based on past innocence requires constant review.

Article Extract

Sticking to your guns

Exposure of innocence may, or may not, lead to simple decisions concerning future behaviour. At the final examination for the Bachelor of Surgery, two colleagues and I were given the same case and reached the same diagnosis – of direct inguinal hernia. All three of us were failed on the spot by a particularly aggressive, part-time senior surgeon.

We had undertaken our final year of study in a different city from where we were being examined. We had been encouraged during this year to think independently and develop confidence in ourselves. However, during the examination all three of us had made the ‘mistake’ of justifying our diagnosis. We were totally rubbished by the disparaging examiner. The full-time senior surgeon saw all three of us afterwards and told us what fools we had been. We were correct but had made idiots of ourselves.