Chapter 11 – Common Sense Medical Phrases

There are hundreds of little sayings within medicine about dozens of topics. At first some of them sound extremely basic or stupid, but the all have a basis in fact. Medicine is made up of common sense. Here’s a selection. I welcome additions.

  • Knowledge is power.
  • First do no harm.
  • Masterful inactivity saves lives.
  • The placebo effect has cured more people than any doctor.
  • If it hurts, rest it or immobilize it.
  • Always wash your hands before touching a patient.
  • Its better to boil all your water, than die of diarrhea.
  • Don’t shit in the water you are going to drink (or let anyone else).
  • A comfortable, warm bed fixes many problems, a good meal fixes many more.
  • Direct pressure stops bleeding.
  • Pretend you know what you are doing and people will believe you do.
  • Don’t stitch a dirty wound.
  • Clean boiled water is a great antiseptic (So is urine but we won’t start that one)
  • If you’ve got a rash: If it’s wet, dry it; if it’s dry, wet it.
  • 90% of problems get better by themselves.