Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Scientific Superstition

Seriously. I know we're all doctors - and supposedly learned men of science. But believe me, no other career apart from flamboyant show business carries more superstitious baggage.

Deaths come in threes ( and occasionally sevens ). Wear that lucky surgical cap with the dancing hippos. No wearing blood-red in the maternity wing. No talking about the hospital wards being terribly quiet that night. And certainly no swapping on-calls unnecessarily.

Perhaps it's because medicine might be primarily based on facts and figures but there's still a whole lot of the mysterious unknown rolled up in that volatile mix - with differing amounts of faith, luck and magic. Who can ever predict what's going to happen to a patient? Even with the greatest mathematic calculations or scientific explanations, no one can ever tell whether someone's going to take a turn for the worse or miraculously get better.

Which is why I didn't swap calls tonight. So I'm not gonna tell you how good ( or bad ) it's going so far today since I wouldn't want to jinx myself unnecessarily. :)

10 comments:

ikanbilis said...

i've always wanted to be a doctor like my neurologist uncle when i was a little kid. i have just realised i fear blood and seeing dead people. and guess what? i'm gonna take a blood test next few days =/

Las montaƱas said...

tell us more about things that go bump in the night in the hospital.

nyonyapenang said...

do you carry some talisman, prayer beads or something?

a.o.d said...

'And certainly no swapping on-calls unnecessarily.'
Seems like an unwritten rule among many doctors, and definitely for me.

You have a talent for turning mundane everyday experiences into great writing.

So, how did your call go?

Curtis said...

Of course there is the "full moon" effect, as well as the Sunday evening cardiac increases. And whatever you say, don't dare say, "This shift should be uneventful". Gets me everytime.

ian said...

Sorry haven't been here for a while, I guess your stethoscope makes a necessary talisman hey? Haha!

William said...

Medical science can only explain so much. And doctors can only know so much. A whole lot of educated guessing? We can only keep our fingers crossed.

Annie said...

"Something bigger is out there. Something bigger than me, bigger than you. Some things are true whether you believe in them or not."
When you forget to appreciate the BIG picture; that Someone else truly has the controls over whether you live or die; then you need to stand back and remember how small we really are in the universe. Working in hospitals take courage, a heart and a sensitive soul. Do respect fate.
Quote from the movie, City of Angels.

envy said...

Oh Doctors do not know if a patient is going for the better or worse? not even predict that? We have such a nice image about doctors, they are gods to us...We assume they know whats gonna happen...They are the healers...they shouldnt be affected by superstitions...yet avoiding some would sound good as the one i just read on your post the something red=blood in the nursery since it should be so white and innocent...nv

thompsonboy said...

I don't believe in any of those shits. Conscience is clear, what is there to fear? When it's time. It's time.