pride and purpura

A truth universally acknowledged
is a doctor in need of a diagnosis
will fall hostage to cognitive bias,
we’re all human, let’s be honest.

I know what you’re thinking,
Jane Austen must be cringing,
how can an English romance
be of any relevance?

But where else to start
than lovers worlds apart
who defy premature closure,
oh trust me, I’ll win you over.

Stubborn and starry-eyed,
caught up in diagnostic pride,
it’s hard not to crave certainty
at the expense of humility.

See purpura, think vasculitis,
a red rash equals dermatitis,
a swollen knee must be arthritis,
and jaundice, obviously, hepatitis!

Our heuristics are not all bad,
many diagnoses are in the bag
until the day we’re led astray,
do we pause or get played?

It’s odd, don’t you think,
in a world of red and pink
to see only in black and white,
that’s a story I’d like to rewrite.

Pride is the age old story
of accepting a false reality
and ignoring ambiguity
(ask Elizabeth and Darcy).

To be human is to err
but beware of any love affair
that too quickly anchors your heart
and makes a fool of your smarts.

Even classic literary themes
are rather versatile, so it seems,
even when cornily re-purposed
in honor of misdiagnosis.

 

–last updated on 8/9/18–

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