“Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves.”
— Don Miguel Ruiz
I believe we are all prisoners of our expertise and experience.
What we have not personally witnessed, gathered, or concluded is somehow less important (or relevant) simply because it isn’t our own.
Recently, a friend and I were
bitching about lamenting the poor quality of our medical professionals. In his case, he was finally satisfied with the latest in a long line of cardiologists, each of whom have offered up diagnoses and possible courses of treatment with nothing more to back up their opinions than a series of summarized reports.
It may help if you think of those reports as the Physician's equivalent of "Diagnoses for Dummies" (more or less). You see, instead of actually checking into the data from any number of tests and strips (raw data), they chose to skip to the end and cherry pick the results.
This last Doc was different. He actually took the time to look beyond the "Cliff Notes" and examine the raw data for clues.
Now, it doesn’t really surprise me that the other docs hadn’t read the strips – and in fact, felt no need to do so. The “strip report” gave them an answer they felt plausible.
Why look further?
Very early in my Dad’s Air Force career, he was assigned to an IG team (investigating aircraft crashes – they still called them crashes then). One day, I asked him what was the most important thing he learned during that period and he answered with “Everybody lies”.
His team would go over crash reports, repair tickets, and maintenance schedules in minute detail. Only then, would the interviews begin.
“Some lie through omission, leaving out crucial details. Some lie to protect themselves or to cover up mistakes. Most lie without realizing they are doing so by coming to conclusions the data just doesn’t support. They just want to “put this thing to bed” and be done with it. The answer, of course is to go back to the beginning and question everything.”
Of course, little things like that are why he’s in the Air Force Hall of Fame and I am not. 😊
We’ve all heard about the problem of “short attention spans” and that the average person can now focus for less time than your average goldfish. Everybody scans the headline but nobody wants to read.
Business people and politicians want to get to the bottom line without spending any real time or effort to do so. Sometimes, it seems we’re all in a race to get something for nothing.
The world of medicine is no different: How many people can you help, in how short a time, making the least amount of mistakes possible, and at the lowest cost.
Sound like a stable environment to you?
Finding a doctor who will read the strips instead of skipping over the data to reach a conclusion is a good thing – to my mind, at least.
How about your business? How many reach for the easy answer rather than a real solution?