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A long time ago a geriatrician showed me a brief glimpse of why his specialty was fascinating. “I don’t know how to do it. I reckon I could learn to do an endoscopy or a cardiac catheter, but I can’t get that little old lady home by using a formula or a technique’. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this since. Not about the geriatrics—that interest didn’t stick for more than a couple of seconds. But I learnt about what I’d find interesting; whether I’d find more interest in what I could do, or in what I couldn’t do. Let’s reframe that. We start much of our acquisition of medicine by consuming, processing and internalising immense amounts of data. Treat a urinary tract infection? Yes, there’s a whole bunch of stuff to learn, some …
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