National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery

: 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-

Let's learn to self-introspect

Neelam N Andrade 
 President, Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of India, Head, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nair Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Neelam N Andrade
President, Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of India, Head, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nair Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Andrade NN. Let's learn to self-introspect.Natl J Maxillofac Surg 2013;4:1-1

How to cite this URL:
Andrade NN. Let's learn to self-introspect. Natl J Maxillofac Surg [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Nov 26 ];4:1-1
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Full Text

I am honored to have been given this privilege to write an editorial in this esteemed journal. Most of us are extremely occupied doing our routine work which may involve clinical, surgical, teaching, and administrative activities. Hopefully, some are willing to consider and implement new ideas or concepts obtained through continued medical education (CME) programs, conferences, workshops, and publications. The same applied to me too; it was only through a personal experience lately that changed my mindset which I wish to share.

Few years back being a faculty on the International AO body I had to undertake a 3 days TIPS for training teachers program which was extremely professional and most helpful. During this program, we were split into groups of seven and for one of the tasks assigned each member in the group had to make a very small presentation of 5 min and then he or she had to initiate a meaningful discussion among the members getting each involved, steering it in the right direction to achieve the desired take home message and conclusion. Each of us was being evaluated by the international faculty and videographed during our discussion. After we were all done with our discussion exercise each of us was called and we were individually questioned, "What went well?" "What better next time?" Each of us thought over and answered the two most important questions. This experience had a huge impact on me on returning from this valuable training I decided to implement it for my residents training program. So after their seminars, case presentations, minor oral surgeries, or journal clubs, and so on I put these two questions to themand then slowly I made them develop this habit of cross-examination and introspection. For surely, what they learn during their training will play a major part in how they will practice for the remainder of their careers. It is our duty as their teachers to mould them in their surgical skills and thought process whether they ultimately do so is their choice.

At all given times, we must prevent ourselves from becoming too complacent, or being too occupied to even reflect back, or only believe that I am doing better than anyone else can. One only learns from one's mistake when you realize that you have made a mistake. Let not our overconfidence overshadow our mistakes that we keep repeating them instead of learning and correcting them. There is a learning curve through every case, through every procedure which may require to be modified, corrected, or reformed to achieve better or optimal results. Simply carrying on and on without retrospection will not help us obtain optimal results and can be detrimental in the long run besides leading to stagnation.

Regular self-introspection on what went wrong what better next time after each case, surgical procedure, scientific activity supplemented with long-term follow-ups, proper data recording and documentation would help us in self-improvement, prevent stagnation, and possibly help us to find absolute successful solutions for various diseases and conditions, for example, bilateral temporo mandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis or the irreversible submucous fibrosis and also oral cancer that plaques the Indian population.