What you see, what you know

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“You can see only what you look for. You can recognize only what you know.”

All medical schools have a version of a class that is called Physical Diagnosis for us.  It is a class designed to teach us the art of interviewing the patient and gleaning all the information you would need to reach a diagnosis from just that very interaction.  Meaning that 9 times out of 10, a diagnosis should be reached before the end of the interview.  Ideally the labs should only be ordered to confirm your diagnosis, not to fish around for one.

One of the biggest obstacles to this has been pointed out to my medical class again and again by one of the professors in the quote above. So how do you get around that? Can you get around that? Maybe we shouldn’t focus on getting around it but just attack head on?

I don’t know.  While I put this quote into the context of medical student life I believe that it can apply to anyone regardless of what their job and/or passion is. And just as there are many situations in which this quote can apply, there are many ways in we can attempt to solve it. I myself try many different routes. I read; I live a thousand lives in just one year. I explore; I see the world for myself and what it has to offer and what it has to take. I try to keep quiet and just listen; I try not to say even a word in some conversations and because of that, I walk away amazed of how much I have gained.  But still, I am limited by the statement.

It could be asked: is there even a need to try and negate the inherent truth of this quote? And in that very thought, in my opinion, lies the problem.