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Clinical Principles Of Medicine *

1. Common things occur commonly.
2. When you hear hoofbeats think of horses, not zebras.
3. Place your bets on uncommon manifestations of common conditions rather than common manifestations of uncommon conditions.
4. If what you are doing is working, keep on doing it.
5. If what you are doing is not working, stop doing it.
6. If you do not know what to do, do not do anything.
7. Above all, never let a surgeon get your patient.

*From Matz, R: Principles of Medicine, NY State J Med 77:99-101, 1977.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
stephenbooth_uk
Apr. 15th, 2001 05:09 pm (UTC)
I remember a piece of advice supposedly ascribed to Hipocrates: "Always tell your paitient that you are confident of his recovery but tell his family, in hushed tones, that you fear for his life. If he recovers you can claim it was your skills that achieved the almost impossible and if he dies you can say that you warned them ahead that it was an immpossible task."
hateme
Apr. 15th, 2001 05:31 pm (UTC)
i use that zebra phrase all the time. sometimes people try to make life way too complicated.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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