The Science of Experience

Would you prefer a doctor who has practiced medicine for 30 years or just 10? Research into expert performance shows that the choice isn't simple

Jensen Larson for TIME

In a simulation on a robot patient at Florida States Human Performance Laboratory, two nurses were asked to cope with a typical emergency-room crisis: falling blood pressure. Both nurses failed

The other day, a nurse at Florida State University in Tallahassee responded to an alarm in a hospital room where a patient named Stan D. Ardman lay gravely ill. Ardman's blood pressure had dropped precipitously, and when the nurse came in, Ardman wheezed and said, "I'm very nauseous and dizzy ... Having trouble breathing."

"O.K.," the nurse responded. "I'm Thomas. I'll be taking care of you." (Thomas is a pseudonym for a nurse in his mid-20s.) Then, in a tone of uncertainty, Thomas said under his breath, "Nauseous and...

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