Atlas of Uncommon Pain Syndromes 4th Edition PDF Free Download
It has been said that the three most dangerous things in medicine are: (1) a medical student with a sharp object; (2) a resident armed with a recently published study from NEJM, and; (3) an attending physician with an anecdote. One must suspect that #2 was at play when in the 1940’s, while on rounds at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, Theodore Woodward, MD, stated that “If you hear hoof beats out on Green Street, don’t look for zebras”! How this admonition to aspiring physicians morphed into “when you hear hoof beats, look for horses, not zebras” is anybody’s guess. (My son who was an ophthalmology resident in Baltimore suggests that this sage piece of advice was most likely accompanied by a long-winded and confusing anecdote—see #3 above). On the surface, most of us would agree with Dr. Woodward’s logic that the most common things are the most common. Occam agreed, when in the 14th century he put forth the philosophical tenant of parsimony that proposed that simpler explanations are, all things being equal, almost always better than more complex ones. He used a razor to “shave away” unnecessary or extraneous data to get to the simplest solution. When you think about it, a razor was all the rage as a medical instrument in the 14th century, so it is not surprising that Occam chose it as his preferred medical device. Occam’s razor certainly has a nice ring to it—better than Occam’s MRI—which would no doubt be the name of his maxim if he had lived in the 21st century, given that the MRI is certainly our most current popular medical device for “shaving away” extraneous data.