Friday, July 10, 2009

100% true dialogue from the wards

The attending, the senior resident, and the intern are sitting in the work area, discussing a patient. The senior resident, a bespectacled and bearded graduate of Harvard Medical School, is cautioning the intern on jumping to conclusions:

"I understand that you're taking the evidence and trying to see if it matches your theory. But actually, you want to do the opposite. You don't want to try to prove yourself right. In the philosophy of science, Karl Popper wrote about 'falsification'--the idea that you take your hypothesis and try to prove it wrong, until, failing to prove it wrong, you decide that it's the best theory for now."

The intern: "OK, yeah, I see your point."

The attending: "Karl Popper, huh? You've read Karl Popper?"

The resident: "No. But I've read about Karl Popper on Wikipedia."

Attending: Falls out laughing; retells the incident for laughs to another attending on rounds a couple of days later.

Resident: Laughs too; retells the incident on his blog a couple of days later.

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