What is ‘best’?

A colleague of mine mentioned to me that he was the fastest and best surgeon… and it struck me as odd that he would feel compelled to make such a statement.  In my experience, speed kills and causes all kinds of other complications.  And it made me think about just who is the ‘best’?  I have never esposed to be the best because I know I am not.  I am conscientious, wise from my experience and humble about my outcomes.  I will always do my best to get the best outcome for my patient.  So what does this other surgeon imply when he says he is the best?  I was in a group where one doctor’s complications outnumbered the other doctor’s complications combined!  But this one individual thought he was the best.  I had a colleague who always took longer in the OR then estimated, presumably to be more careful with his surgery.  But did this make him ‘best’?  I can’t say our results would support that.  So I guess ‘best’ is a deceiving term and in the end meaningless amongst colleagues.  I certainly wouldn’t want a doctor who thought of himself as the best but failed to deliver on that concept repeatedly.  Its a perception and reality of how you treat your patients that makes you good, and perhaps the best in their eyes.  And in the end, that is all that matters.