Saturday, December 18, 2010

Strategies for coping with information overload

The BMJ editorial in the Christmas issue takes a light hearted look at the issue of information overload for doctors, and how this affects their practice and their relationships with their patients.

The author, Richard Smith suggests a number of coping strategies including the ostrich strategy (ignore all new information), the pigeon strategy (hang around other doctors and pick up bits of information) and the inhuman strategy (create a machine to help you).

I can think of some more birds ! For example, the vulture strategy ( voraciously devour all information , but be very undiscriminating ) ; and the mother bird strategy ( regurgitate everything you swallow, without processing it).

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