Relevant quotes: Relevant quotes

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An anomaly is not an abnormality. Diversity does not signify sickness Georges Canguilhem

Know the normal before examining for the abnormal William Osler

Humans are variable William Osler

Minima cura si maxima vis - Take care of small things if you want to obtain the greatest results Academia de los Linces (1603)

The role of the infinitely small is infinitely large Louis Pasteur

Do not look to things that you don’t want to find


Don's act superior William Osler

Respect your colleagues William Osler

Never listen to tales or slander a colleague/Never listen to a patient's criticism of another doctor William Osler

Silence is the best weapon against slander William Osler

Silence is power William Osler

Speak only when you have something to say William Osler


The one who does not operate, who lies, and who does not follow his patients does not have complications

Good surgeons operate well: great surgeons know how to manage their own complications

Errors cannot be avoided William Osler

Do not congratulate yourself for saving a patient from a trouble inflicted by you

Conflict of interest

Do not sacrifice mental independence William Osler

The commercial promotion of drugs is lamentable William Osler

The more conflit of interest you have, the less conflicted you are

Cost/Value-Based Healthcare

New equipment and new procedures may improve medical care, but seldom decrease the cost Mark M Ravitch (1919-1989)

It is the surgeon who benefits more from elective surgery


Uncertainty is the rule in medicine William Osler


Intellectual laziness is a vice William Osler

Believe nobody, question everything

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants Sir Isaac Newton Letter to Robert Hooke (5 February 1676)

Do not expect much from others William Osler

We are influenced by those we admire William Osler

A well-trained doctor is a valuable asset William Osler

Medical common sense is rare William Osler

The practical outcome of medical training is to help others William Osler

The path of medical education follows the evolution of knowledge William Osler

The teacher still has a lot to learn William Osler

The surgical resident is like a mushroom: kept in the dark, fed shit, and expected to grow.


Resolve not to waste time William Osler

Do first what has to be done William Osler


I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do - the day after Oscar Wilde


To be in good health means being able to fall sick and recover Canguilhem

Soap, water, and common sense are the best disinfectants William Osler

Too much drugs mean they are all insufficient William Osler


Knowledge is power Francis Bacon

Knowing what to do provides imperturbability William Osler

A student should be a citizen of the world William Osler

Never lose sight of your goal William Osler

Learning is lifelong/Education is a life course William Osler

Medicine is a difficult art to acquire William Osler

Each case has a lesson/Learn from each patient William Osler

Learn from your errors/Learn from your mistakes William Osler

To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease Lao-tzu Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

Pretending to know is a conceit William Osler

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Medical errors

A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them John C Maxwell

Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes Oscar Wilde


Sola dosis facit venenum -The dose makes the poison Paracelsus (1493-1541)

Patients can get well without antibiotics Mark M Ravitch (1910-1989)

Most men die of their remedies, not of their disease Molière (1622-1673)

Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases Hyppocrates (460-377 BC)


The old should remember that they represent the past, and that the young represent the future William J Mayo (1861-1939)


Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance Samuel Johnson

Perfection is obtained by little effort Arab saying

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence Vince Lombardi

Perfection is to be cultivated William Osler

The enemy of good is better

Does absence of proof of efficacy provide proof of the absence of efficacy? John Marshall

The first report of any new operation is rarely unfavorable Mark M Ravitch (1910-1989)


Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it André Gide

In science, the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man the idea first occurs William Osler

Every scientific truth is met initially by skepticism William Osler

General acceptance of truth takes time William Osler

Scientific education facilitates clinical work William Osler

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication Leonardo Da Vinci

Second opinion

The more the doctors, the sadder the prognosis William Osler

If two people agree, one of them is not a doctor Unknown


There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics Mark Twain

I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself Winston S. Churchill Former British Prime Minister


Doing something is sometimes worse than doing nothing Gail Waldby

It is difficult to make the asymptomatic patient feel better Stanley O Hoerr (1909-1990)

The greatest triumph of surgery today… lies in finding ways for avoiding surgery Robert Tuttle Morris (1857-1945)

The most difficult thing is to do nothing Norman M Rich

It takes five years to learn when to operate and twenty years to learn when not to Unknown

You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one Harry S. Truman Former U.S. President

Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential Winston Churchill Former British Prime Minister

The feasibility of an operation is not the best indication for its performance Henry Cohen (1900-1977)

Never be the first but never be the last to accept change Angus B McLachlin (1908-1987)


Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much Helen Keller


“First the word, then the plant, lastly the knife” Aesculapius of Thassaly (1200 BC)

Care for the patient, not the disease/Put the patient before the disease William Osler

The physician is only nature's assistant Galen

Do not mess around with mother nature Jonathan Meakins


The simpler the procedure, the better the results Charles FM Saint (1886, 1973)

If it looks good, it might work. If it does not look good, it will never work William Silen

If everything is going right you’ve done something wrong

A poor workman blames his tool

Blood brain barrier (BBB): the screen between the surgeon and anaesthetics

All bleeding eventually ceases Guy de Chauliac (1300-1368)

There are 4 degrees of intra-operative hemorrhage: 1. “Why did I get involved in this operation?” 2. “Why did I become a surgeon?” 3. “Why did I study to become a doctor?” 4. “Why was I born?” Alexander A Artemiev

When in doubt drain Robert Lawson Tait (1845-1899)

The incision must be as long as necessary and as short as possible Theodore Kocher (1841-1917)

Big surgeon - big incision – small activity