ut aliquid fieri videatur

It's been a long time since I've done Latin, but the best I could come up with was "How something is seen being done." This phrase means doing something for the sake of appearing that action is being taken. Action for the sake of appearances. An example would be like after Columbine, there were all sorts of gun laws regarding youths, but truth be told, the laws did next to nothing. It was done just to show that the government was doing something.

One of the attendings I've worked with was real old skool, East Coast internal medicine, and occasionally pulled out obscure Latin, peppered with stories of Osler. That's East Coast medicine for you.

All the time in medicine, we do things not because they're necessary for care, but so that we can give the impression that we are doing something for the patient. Many patients don't feel like we're doing anything unless we're ordering tests or getting daily labwork. In fact, I often make it my job to tell patients that we are indeed taking care of them and not sitting around drinking coffee.

And I wonder sometimes if the show isn't for patients, but is for ourselves, so that we can go home at night, look at our handiwork, and say, "Look what I did today!"


Anonymous said...

i'm sorry:
ut aliquid fieri videatur --> traslation --> in order that seems (ut videatur) something is happened.

Anonymous said...

"Ut aliquid fieri videatur." means: "To let them see that something is being done."

incidental findings said...

Translation aside, it is a phrase whose meaning is action for the sake of appearances.

Anonymous said...

aliquid fieri videatur puo' essere anche tradotto: si osservi ciocche' accadra', criterio ex adjuvantibus in medicina