Sergeant Schultz on “Hogan’s Heroes” had it right. He was the only one who learned and knew the most about BOTH the German officers of the prison and the American prisoners. All because he approached each day as “I Know Nothing”.

I’ve always felt that compared to the knowledge “out there”, I know nothing. This is an attitude that will take you far in your life and your occupation.

I’ve trained a few students about certain procedures and can usually tell if they will do well or miss something. How? The ones that think they know most of the procedure and have that attitude will usually unconsciously show it in their face, their posture, and their attitude. Most explanation of a procedure or topic has to cover some basics in order to build upon it and be complete. If you are constantly showing or indicating that you already know that step, information, or procedure, and you seem to be “insulted” that the explanation is covering something you already know, you will not learn.

An example?
Showing someone how to use an app on a phone and they roll their eyes to the ceiling when you tell them “click on this app to open it” as you begin explaining. If they are already showing this attitude, I guarantee the important points of the continued explanation will be missed.

Remember “I Know Nothing” doesn’t mean that you don’t know anything. Sargent Schultz knew plenty, but his approach allowed him to have that knowledge and gain even more knowledge.

I have always learned the most when I listen to the basics, to things I already know, and to the beginning of a topic.

My approach to knowledge is always “I Know Nothing”.


Dr. Ricks is a native Texan, born in Liberty Texas. He graduated from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and has been a medical doctor for 42 years. Specializing in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Hospital Care (Hospitalist). He has produced numerous medical educational videos for aspiring school students and the general public. Dr. Ricks is currently sharing his experience as a physician with other healthcare professionals to improve their relationship with patients, patient satisfaction, and patient retention.

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