The Triangle of Knowledge and its importance to doctor.  In reality, the pyramid of knowledge should play a major role in every decision you make, regardless of your vocation or lot in life.

The apex of the pyramid represents what you know.  As it turns out, no matter how smart or well educated you are, what you know accounts for a small percentage of all knowledge.

The midsection of the pyramid represents what you know that you don’t know. I know that I don’t know how to fly a jet.  I know that I don’t know how to insert an electrical conduit in a person’s brain.  Knowing what you don’t know is essential if you want both to avoid problems and find someone to fix them.  When I referred you to a specialist, it was because that individual’s job was to know about the things I didn’t know about and then to diagnose and treat those problems when necessary.

The third (largest) section of the pyramid of knowledge represents what you don’t know that you don’t know.  What you don’t know that you don’t know is what can hurt you the worst.  What I did my entire life was to “PRACTICE” medicine.  Delivering medical care has always been referred to as “THE PRACTICE OF MEDICAL CARE,” in recognition of the fact that there is much that we don’t know about the human condition and disease.  Over the last 40 years, my job has been to increase my knowledge and decrease the “I don’t know that I don’t know” portion of the pyramid.

Now for a true story.  I’ve been having trouble getting in and out of bed.  I’ve tried multiple interventions, including buying a new bed, all without success.  Renee is great at doing research and showed me a floor to ceiling bar that she thought would work.  I, a man of infinite wisdom, told her it wouldn’t work.  Further, I told her it would probably ruin both the floor and ceiling.  She, in her infinite wisdom, ordered it anyway.  Brian, my brother-in-law, and Abe, my brother from another mother, installed my pole yesterday.

Again, I was confident that a floor to ceiling pole by my bed would not help me (and that Renee certainly wasn’t going to take up pole dancing).  I was wrong!  The pole helped.  Time to eat crow! “Sorry for underestimating you.”  [Realistically, I was partially right; Renee is not going to do any pole dancing.]

Knowing what you don’t know and who knows it can save you a lot of grief.  As I grow older, the things I don’t know are becoming more plentiful.  Luckily, I have a brilliant wife whose job in life is caring for me.  Her knowledge base compliments mine, filling in the gaps.

I know I’m risking my membership in the Society of Men by admitting that my wife is right, but she is (and often).

Here’s your joke of the day:

Annoyed by the professor of anatomy who liked to tell “naughty” stories during class, a group of female students decided that the next time he started to tell one, they would all rise and leave the room in protest. The professor, however, got wind of their scheme just before class the following day, so he bided his time. Then, halfway through the lecture, he began. “They say there is quite a shortage of prostitutes in France.” The girls looked at one another, arose and started for the door. “Young ladies,” said the professor with a broad smile, “the next plane doesn’t leave till tomorrow afternoon.”

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