Do you practise like an art restorer, or a composer?
We do a lot of things in our head in this business. Once a patient reports a symptom, we mentally run down lists of related follow-up questions, possible diagnoses, similar cases we have seen.
All this happens faster than we could ever describe in words (let alone type).
And, just like in maths class, we are constantly reminded that it doesn’t matter if we have the right answer if we can’t describe how we got there.
So the ninth doctor who observes a little girl with deteriorating neurologic functioning and after less than 10 minutes says