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Showing posts from March, 2020

"Risks" vs Risks

Decision making is almost always complicated by uncertainties. The more information that can provide context, the more stakeholders that are part of the decision, the better the chances of reaching a good decision.

In the past few weeks, world leaders have had to make very difficult decisions. Lock down entire country? Put money into healthcare? Risk economic disasters to prevent health disaster?

I guess the biggest problem they would have faced in making these decisions is uncertainty. Because medicine is a field of uncertainties. The first thing a doctor learns when helping patients is that they can never be sure of anything other than the fact that they have to act. Diseases, cells, organisms, molecules, environment, human behaviour - there are a lot of moving parts in medicine. Parts that you can't control. Parts that you can't even predict.

A doctor is a performance artist who uses an imperfect science to help alleviate suffering. In Osler's words, "Medicine is …