Quick Hit – What makes someone an expert?

mrknowitallI’ve often asked myself this question as I tend to deal with “experts” in various fields from both the pharmacy and IT world. I’ve met several individuals over my short 12 year career that I wouldn’t give two cents for their opinion, but somehow they’ve been crowned an expert in their field. I find it interesting that some people refuse to challenge an expert for fear of some unforeseen negative consequence. Haven’t you ever listen to someone else’s opinion on something and think to yourself “that doesn’t sound right”, but were afraid to open your mouth and say something? Of course you have. We all have. I fell into the trap myself several weeks ago. I started following someone on Twitter because of who they were supposed to be; an expert in the world of cutting edge technology. What I found was a string of opinions that I got tired of reading secondary to their short-sided viewpoint. This particular individual would quickly dismiss other opinions as irrelevant and mock those that offered conflicting views. I found the person to be not only full of himself, but full of crap as well. I grew tired of the message, finally woke up and hit “unfollow”; done deal. I wish it was always that easy.

So, back to my original query: who pinned the expert badge on this person? Do experts become experts because people refuse to challenge them? Does it have to do with level of education, school attended, profession, genetics, or [insert reason of choice here]? Who knows, maybe it’s a combination of everything. I can tell you from personal experience that titles and education are meaningless when it comes to raw intelligence and common sense. I work with people every day that aren’t experts in anything per se, but I trust their opinion on matters of great importance. I prefer to discuss issues with intelligent people and arrive at my own conclusions instead of getting bullied into someone else’s view. Then again maybe that’s just me.

2 thoughts on “Quick Hit – What makes someone an expert?”

  1. I think experts are chosen by the masses. Jerry, who do you consider to be “experts” in pharmacy? Pharmacy OneSource is scheduling our webinar series for next year and are always interested in featuring a variety of “expert” speakers.

  2. Maeghan, that is exactly my point. Who are the experts? I’ve listened to several webinars recently and have gained a lot of insight into a variety of subjects, but I don’t know who I would qualify as an expert. An expert in my opinion is someone that is not only practicing what they preach, but advancing the profession at the same time; moving in new directions and developing standards. Let me think on that a little more and get back to you. Thanks for stopping by.

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