• Users Online: 43
  • Print this page
  • Email this page


 
 
Table of Contents
EDITORIAL
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1

We don't see things as they are; We see them as we are


Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2019

Correspondence Address:
Steven R Feldman
Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
USA
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdds.jdds_3_19

Get Permissions


How to cite this article:
Kolli SS, Feldman SR. We don't see things as they are; We see them as we are. J Dermatol Dermatol Surg 2019;23:1

How to cite this URL:
Kolli SS, Feldman SR. We don't see things as they are; We see them as we are. J Dermatol Dermatol Surg [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Aug 22];23:1. Available from: http://www.jddsjournal.org/text.asp?2019/23/1/1/250823





A distinct characteristic of humans is the extent to which our biases affect our perceptions. The adage, “We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are,” encapsulates this issue well. The effect of context on perception is so strong that we might do well to teach “We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are” in elementary school.

This issue was prominent in a review of surgical treatment options for hidradenitis suppurativa and how those options might be perceived differently by dermatologists versus plastic surgeons. In my training, surgery was viewed as a last resort for hidradenitis. A plastic surgeon may, however, think that for forms of hidradenitis that are amenable to curative surgery, surgery would be a very reasonable first-line treatment option. While we might think surgery would be very appropriate for an obese hidradenitis patient who has not responded to medical treatments, a plastic surgeon, having had extensive experience with the problems of prolonged poor wound healing, might think such a patient would not be a good surgical candidate given that the risks of postprocedure complications could be too high.

To a medical editor, a reasonable corollary to the “we don't see things as they are; we see them as we are” phenomenon is that we should look to gain a broad range of perspectives when writing and when evaluating manuscripts. We would not want to miss the perspective of relevant people who have a different background and set of skills.

Beyond that, whenever we see disagreement or conflict, we need to consider the background context that leads people to see things from a different perspective than the one we hold. Too often, we may, when viewed from our own perspective, think their position is not sensible and that no agreement could be possible. However, if we consider the background and perspective of those we disagree with, we may come to understand their position and end conflict by being able to reach some kind of mutually acceptable agreement. Moreover, if we continue to try to understand different viewpoints, we may even allow ourselves to change our own perspective for the better.






 

Top
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 
  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed795    
    Printed86    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded146    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal