The Importance Of Observing Details.

on March 1st, 2001

A small bottle containing urine sat upon the desk of Sir William Osler, the eminent professor of medicine at Oxford University. Sitting before him was a class full of young, wide-eyed medical students, listening to his lecture on the importance of observing details.

To emphasize his point, Sir Osler announced: "This bottle contains a sample for analysis. It`s often possible by tasting it to determine the disease from which the patient suffers."

He then dipped a finger into the fluid and brought it into his mouth. He continued speaking: "Now I am going to pass the bottle around. Each of you please do exactly as I did. Perhaps we can learn the importance of this technique and diagnose the case."

The bottle made it`s way from row to row, each student gingerly poking his finger in and bravely sampling the contents with a frown.

Dr Osler then retrieved the bottle and startled his students by saying: "Gentlemen, now you will understand what I mean when I speak about details. Had you been observant, you would have seen that I put my INDEX FINGER in the bottle but my MIDDLE FINGER into my mouth!"

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