Famous maxims

"No man’s opinions are better than his information"

Paul Getty

"A few observations and much reasoning leads to error; many observations and a little reasoning to truth"

Alexis Carrell

"Never believe what a patient tells you his doctor has said."

William Jenner

"If you don’t ask, you won’t know"


"If you listen carefully to the patient they will tell you the diagnosis"

Sir William Osler

You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles’

Sherlock Holmes

If you don’t think of the diagnosis you’ll never make it.


"More is missed from not looking than not knowing"

Prof. Thomas Macrae

"You see only what you look for; you recognise only what you know"

Dr. Merrill Sosman

"If there is a fault in us bred of familiarity it is, I believe, the old fault of omitting to probe sufficiently deeply into causes; the fault of accepting the fact of common symptoms without trying to explain them."

Jon A Ryle

"Discard in the first instance all attempts to identify or to name, and try instead to read the malady, tracing the symptoms to the seat of their cause, and discerning the nature of the morbid process by their character and course.

Sir William Gowers

"Uncommon presentations of common diseases are more common than common presentations of uncommon diseases"


"When disease takes an unexpected turn, or treatment after due trial proves ineffective, reconsider the diagnosis"


"The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism."

Sir William Osler

"Experience is the ability to repeat the same mistakes over and over again with ever increasing confidence"


Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

Mulla Nasrudin

"Men mark when they hit, and never mark when they miss"

Francis Bacon

"The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely."

Sir William Osler

"Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability."

Sir William Osler

"It is much simpler to buy books than to read them and easier to read them than to absorb their contents."

Sir William Osler

‘In my experience’ - I have seen it once

‘Time and time again’ - I have seen it twice

‘In a small case series’ - I have seen it three times

"A man must cultivate the habit of careful observation and of cautious thinking"


"Life is short, and the art is long."