If you've checked out my linkspage you will know I'm a fan of TED.com, recently listening to a talk by Abraham Verghese on the importance of touch as examination, ritual and therapy I was reminded of another passion of mine which has consumed weekends in the last month- rugby.
The good Doctors call to arms was to treat patients well, to treat them as people, to use touch rather than data as the means to interface with a patient. He gave the case of a woman with breast cancer who had four opportunities go by before someone took the opportunity to do a physical exam and found the tumours.
What has this to do with Rugby?
Well, the English team has left the world cup, only Wales remains of the home nations. How can this be? What was their secret?
In both diagnosis and sport there are certain set pieces, certain formalities which comprise the basis, the essentials of the craft. For both Dr verghese and Wales the secret of success is simple:
Do the basics well
If the basics are all present be it , kick off, line out, ruck, scrum or, introduction, history, examination, explanation and treatment then what follows will be a firm foundation for a successful performance.
It's not a rocket science insight, but given the plethora of discharge letters without a given diagnosis, or the patients perception that they were told nothing about their diagnosis perhaps is is time to make sure we do simply "get the basics right"