Monday, 28 April 2014

Ad Infinitum!

Ad infinitum..
The problem with being a generalist is that there are always people who know more than you in any area. Surely, I used to think, if one restricted one's practice to a very limited area, such as ophthalmology, it would be possible to know virtually all that the state of the art contained.
A number of years ago, I was at a medical meeting, I think somewhere in New York State, and I was having lunch with one of the speakers, who was an eye specialist from New York. I didn't know his specialty and asked him,conversationally,
"And what do you do?"
"I'm a retinologist," he said, handing me his business card.
It read:
Retina, Lens, Vitreous. Inc. (vitreous is the jelly inside the eye).
Dr. A - Lens. Dr.B-Retina. Dr.C-Vitreous.
Being a dumb GP from Saskatchewan I asked,"Who refers to you? When I need to refer to an ophthalmologist I need a good generalist who is likely to be able to deal with whatever I send him."
He smiled, tolerantly,"My referrals come mostly from general ophthalmologists,who can't define the problem or have mismanaged the case or performed unsuccessful surgery and want me to bail them out".

When I was a schoolboy, we used this appropriate jingle :
Big fleas have little fleas, that on their legs do bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas,
So on to ad infinitum!

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