Superstitious Doctors

It seems no profession is safe from a superstition or two.

Fans (or reluctant viewers) of Grey’s Anatomy will know that in Seattle Grace’s ER, the biggest faux pas is to state that it is “quiet today”. Invariably after such an utterance, a massive influx (usually in the form of a major disaster) will occur.

By the way, I think we disproved that one yesterday when I was on call. I mentioned how quiet it was and was told not to jinx it. But it remained quiet. We were in Medical Emergency, so perhaps that superstition only works in surgical casualty?

However, I have learned that one can “tell the weather” by acute asthmatic exacerbations. I’m not talking about the obvious “it’s cold” or “there’s a high pollen count” though.

The past week we’ve been getting an unusual amount of struggling asthmatics. During one such presentation our consultant muttered, “there must be a cold front coming.” Sure as Bob, the cold front came. He explained that even when the weather is perfectly fine, an unusual amount of acute exacerbations is usually followed by a sudden drop in temperature (the weather, not the patients’).

I haven’t been around long enough to confirm, but found it interesting. Are there any other superstitions fancied by doctors?

2 thoughts on “Superstitious Doctors

  1. I have said the “quiet” thing and then all heck has broken loose. But, I would say it is 50/50. However, people freaking out when it is said is approaching 100%.
    There is always the full moon means people are more crazy thing… That there are more patients sundowning, more bizarre presentations to the ER, that kind of stuff.

    1. True, I’ve been on call in casualty when it was a full moon and people get quite violent. Lots of stabbings and GSWs. Although my friends who were on call during a full moon recently had the quietest call ever.

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