Medicine is all about making decisions, but in the course of medical education, we are never actually taught how to make decisions. It is implied, as if this is a skill that we come born with. But that's not true. You have to learn how to make a decision.

The one thing that so many doctors experience is not a lack of information, but too much. We gather reports, lab tests, x-rays, repeat x-rays, repeat lab tests, consultations, and all in the effort to make a decision. And as we hem and haw, the issue becomes moot. We are paralyzed by information. And suddenly we are second guessing ourselves, and withdrawing previous decisions, favoring another.

And most of the time when we're paralyzed like this, we end up being right by doing nothing. Voltaire said it best: "The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."

If you like to read Malcolm Gladwell, he writes a lot on decision making, and all the things that we use to make a decision, and it is scary to realize that what I had for lunch that day may be more influential to my plan of care than anything in the patient's chart.


Anonymous said...

Its better to have loved and lost than to never had love loved at all

Anonymous said...

Have you lost your virginty yet? you should just do it and get it over with already

Anonymous said...

^ you're a troll.

Anonymous said...

did u hear about james woods brother he died in a hospital in RI
from a heart attack his family got money and a wing named after him what do you think? is it the hospitals fault

incidental findings said...


This string of comments has me seriously considering turning off anonymous comments.

Lenavis said...

which Malcolm Gladwell book is this? I want to read it; it sounds pretty interesting.

In medicine, does the first-guess-is-the-right-one strategy generally prove right?
I'm guessing no.

By the way, I read all of your 'Why not to become a doctor' series - really good reasoning and really convincing.
But, I think I'll stay on this career path for a while.

[Finally, a relevant post. And don't cut out anonymous posting - don't you think the idiots up top are hilarious? :)]

Anonymous said...

Dont make it a big deal dont be so sensitive

incidental findings said...

I turned on anonymous comments so that anyone could comment, but I didn't anticipate that people would waste my time with inane chatter.

From this point on, I will not publish any comment without value, and should pointless comments keep coming up, I'll turn it off.

Kath said...

Have you watched Spirited Away? (Yes, it's possibly a stupid question to ask since it's so famous.) Maybe it'd give you two hours of entertainment and relaxation from this lonely and reflective life you live...
But of course, I agree that having a love of your life would be the best, but aren't things easier said than done?
Incidentally, are you so afraid of love because you do not trust this world to be a kinder place than you think it is? You probably experience the worst of the world everyday through seeing all of nature's illnesses, but that girl you met a long time ago could just have been a bad apple. Life's not fair, but it's fairer than you think...Karma will come back, have some faith =)
11 days 'til Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I nominate you the next bachelor of primetime!

CT said...

Total non sequitur here:

Merry Christmas IFinding!