Abstract Rumblings

The Secrets of the Failure Academy

Well success is easy to achieve isn’t it? With numerous workarounds, guides, quotes, books written on achieving success it is high time someone elucidates the working of failure. Failure in itself is a very vast field of extremes. Ranging from simple failures like not being able to outscore someone at Temple Run, to the ones that give you an extra year at med school to set things right.

Failure is something that universally ties all humanity. Something that reminds us how we all are equal and nowhere close to perfection of immortality. We owe almost all progress and success to those hours spent in contemplating failure and developing strategies to achieve those elusive results. However it’s important to analyze failure, be it simply the inadequacy of effort, to the lack of preparation, to the unavoidable stroke of bad luck or simply being outclassed by a better opponent (don’t worry the failure scales are soon going to be tipped against them too). Failure is something that is truly universal in corporeality.

Society has spent years on ways to devise a workarounds around failure but tends to forget that failures is an institution in itself. Let’s get to intimately know this institution:

  • There are no fees for getting admission.
  • There are no set rules and regulations governing your stay (come any time, stay as long as you want, train in whatever program you want).
  • There are no academic or intellectual fees (you can even sit back and bask in the freedom of idle nothingness that failure gives you).
  • There are no regular tests, just a final examination that gets you out of the institution.
  • There are courses offered in guilt, regret, non-acceptance, coping strategies or be it a permanent residency in the failure arts. Tougher courses are also offered in dedication, courage, planning, execution and disaster management in everyday enterprise.
  • The failure institution is something unavoidable, sooner or later we are going to find ourselves enrolled there, actually most of us may be in different phases of the admission procedure.

The important thing is that we have to make our education there worthwhile. What matters even more is that can we turn that education into learning and actually apply that to the real world scenarios. Unfortunately failure is an incorrigible institution; there are no shortcuts, no guides, and no hands to hold as you face the unforgiving examiners (pretty much mimics the dreaded college vivas). Ultimately it’s you who have to venture ahead and actually face failure head-on, otherwise there is free entertainment, food, boarding and lodging till you rest and recuperate to have another go at the final examination again and as they say, “try, try again… “, perhaps to succeed and become an alumni of this institution.

Abstract Rumblings

Defensive Medicine

Unnecessary imaging tests for establishing a diagnosis, serological tests for tuberculosis, denial to basic life saving measures, broad spectrum antibiotics for self-limiting viral conditions. These are examples of defensive medicine that can be found as a rampant Medusa all around us.

Defensive medicine occurs when doctors order tests, procedures, or visits, or avoid high-risk patients or procedures, primarily (but not necessarily/solely) to reduce their exposure to malpractice liability. When physicians do extra tests or procedures primarily to reduce malpractice liability, they are practising positive defensive medicine. When they avoid certain patients or procedures, they are practising negative defensive medicine.

Defensive medicine brings with it exponential increases in the costs associated with clinical practice. Practitioners, the public, and third party insurers all experience the same impact on the price of medical care in the form of additional testing (even unnecessary testing). More importantly, fear among health care practitioners and administrators has contributed to a different kind of cost expressed in the shut-down or unavailability of services in sectors of high-risk exposure. Yet, most problematic of all, the practice of defensive medicine compromises not only the cost but the quality of care given. In short, the fear of malpractice litigation has a tangible effect on the manner in which all clinical decisions are made, not just risky ones, but all varieties, from the mundane to the most profound.

Physicians receive “signals” from the malpractice system in a variety of ways, including personal litigation experience, the experience of their colleagues, the media, risk management and quality assurance activities, and their malpractice insurance premiums. Although it is unclear whether and to what extent these “malpractice signals” affect physician practice, it has been documented that physicians consistently overestimate their own and their colleagues’ risk of being sued. Physicians are concerned about the professional, financial, and psychological consequences of litigation but, on balance, they tend to overestimate the risk of these effects as well.

Perceptions of increasing risk may also arise from the continual development of new diagnostic techniques and improved therapies for serious debilitating conditions. Both of these trends could make the consequences of not testing more serious. The availability of more accurate or early tests or new therapies changes a natural risk—for example, the risk of death from disease—into a preventable risk, and places a new burden on the physician to correctly interpret the results of the test. When a medical technology is new, physicians may have greater uncertainty about the appropriate indications for its use and therefore more conscious concern about the potential for liability.

Like other widespread phenomena, the medical malpractice crisis does not occur in a social vacuum: indeed, we live in a litigious climate where everyone seems to be suing everyone else on very little provocation. Another factor leading to fear of litigation may be the perception that the medical profession requires outside scrutiny and regulation. In this context, public awareness of malpractice suits creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more the public becomes aware that the medical profession is vulnerable to litigation, the more likely the number of suits is to increase.

The primary benefit that may derive from the fear of malpractice liability is strengthened therapeutic alliance between clinician and patient. Once clinicians openly acknowledge their own fears of liability, they may then choose to address these concerns by putting their energies into building mutually supportive relationships with their patients. The therapeutic alliance promotes these “good feelings” by establishing as a shared goal the well-being of the patient. Instead of being pitted against each other as adversaries, clinician and patient can work together against the common enemy of disease.

Today malpractice is a topic that seems to make people in the medical field shiver. Understanding the legal issues, such as negligence and the penal code, is important to understanding new reforms and developments in this area. Thus it is clear that the various components that make up the practice of defensive medicine can only be unraveled with the help of physicians, patients and government. Finally it’s the patient’s welfare that should be of paramount importance in any clinical/emergency setting because that’s what we swear to protect in the Hippocratic Oath.

Abstract Rumblings

Inspiration, Imagination or Imitation

Inspiration is extremely rare to find these days. The Internet has made information retrieval such a simple task. Gone are the days when research meant original ideas, hours of struggle with tomes in the library and days of incessant labor. A single click today and a plethora of knowledge opens up.

  • But are we to gain from this Instant Coffee approach?
  • Does creative pursuit end on Google Search?
  • Are we leaving a legacy of dependence on wires and wireless?

Creation is and shall always be a dynamic process. Entwined, interspersed and inspired from Nature. The morning dew, the rising sun, the mountains tall, the glades, the flowers are all same as the ones our ancestors had for their creative titillation.

  • So why is there a dearth of creative, imaginative and original ideas?
  • Are we incompetent, imperfect and impractical today?
  • Are we simply ignorant of the treasure trove around us?
  • Are we simply happy to imitate because it’s faster and less taxing?

Inspiration shall always come to those, who look for it. But the secret is to search in the right places, at the right time and for the right purpose. With inspiration in hand and imagination at work, one can do wonders. You may be a poet or a practitioner, imagination gives you the ability to go beyond the usual din. The power to sail beyond the horizons of conformity to islands of exclusiveness and exceptions but can Knowledge substitute Imagination and Inspiration?

Knowledge breeds from the past, Imagination forges the future and Inspiration envisages the present. All three are vital for success. For there is no future, if you don’t learn from the past. But the time to act is now. So go out and get inspired. Leave Google to what it does best: Doodle.

Abstract Rumblings

Virtual Woes

Life isn’t what it used to be, likes have replaced friendly smiles, pokes have replaced hugs, tagging people is the new way of socializing, birthday wishes now are just another Cntrl-C, Cntrl-V chore. We have amassed 1000’s of friends virtually but lack a real shoulder to hold on to in times of need.
Today we trade moments over wires forgetting the network that craves a personal touch within us. Seriously we have been brought so close that emotional closure today isn’t a possibility. Ramifications of the global village have led to annihilation of our personal place. In this quest for our personal identity in this vast array of 0’s and 1’s we sadly have lost the person that is us…

PS: Just reminiscing, no need to take this seriously for we all are a lost cause in this quest.shutterstock_121706023