Well, I wonder then who –
other doctors – would say are the best doctors in the hospital?
My guess is that they would probably qualify it by specialty.
Something like: He might not be the “best” or “smartest.” But he has done the most surgery X. So he’s the best at that.
But who knows, maybe all the “brain surgeon” jokes didn’t get started for nothing…
(I have heard that doctors particularly excel at one thing: Rote memorization.)
As an intern in the first year of residency, one is little more than a paper pusher against a backdrop of life and death—though, even then, the workload is enormous. My first day in the hospital, the chief resident said to me, “Neurosurgery residents aren’t just the best surgeons—we’re the best doctors in the hospital. That’s your goal. Make us proud.”
-Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air (Amazon)