Before reading the article, I actually believe that technology is the determinant of healthcare quality. Healthcare is something that we have no ability to improve dramatically unless we have access to higher level of technology or medicines. But the truth turns out to be the opposite. And I started wondering, for patients with Cystic Fibrosis, what exactly makes the difference between 80 percent of normal breath level and 100 percent, or even better.
It reminds me of something called "illusory superiority", which represents a common cognitive fallacy people have -- I am above average people. For example, in the survey made by College Board, they asked students who take SAT to rate their own performance, 70% of students rate themselves above median. This applies to every aspect of skills or performance such as health, driving skills, memory or IQ. The fallacy that people are above average makes people feel good when they actually perform average, or maybe they're really better than average. However, few people would look up to see how much higher they could reach rather than comparing themselves to the "majority" to get the satisfaction and feeling of superiority. This is what Berwick is doing and what makes him unique.
So it raises the question that we might ask ourselves. Perfection is not easy to get. And sometimes we don't know about our limitations. As we've discussed before, it would be better if we could set a reachable goal to an extent that we can possibly reach by doing some efforts, instead of setting a ridiculously high one to discourage ourselves. But sometimes it needs the enthusiasm to pursue perfection in order to accomplish something others have never thought of. How could we find out our limitations? How could we define perfection? How could we avoid being prey to illusory superiority?