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"Retrospectoscope" is a common colloquial term in medicine.
Basically, when a doctor criticizes someone for using a retrospectoscope, he's
criticizing that person for being a Monday-morning quarterback who uses
after-the-fact retrospection to invariably be correct. As they say,
hindsight is 20/20, but being correct with the benefit of hindsight requires no
brainpower. What riles doctors (or anyone else, for that matter, who is
subjected to second-guessing) is that even an idiot can be right 100% of the
time when looking at the past.
Historically, lawyers, insurance companies, and government bureaucrats love
to second-guess doctors with the assistance of their trusty retrospectoscopes.
Of course, if they were so smart they'd be the ones making the critical
decisions in split-seconds instead of having the luxury to take days, weeks,
months, or years to pore over every word in a contested medical record.
The author of the
essay was provoked to criticize nurses who'd used a
retrospectoscope on him because anyone can be correct in
retrospection. But what's the value in that? Zero.
Back to the essay
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