Murtagh, a zebra and the elephant sat in your consultation room…


‘It would be so nice if something made sense for a change’- thought the doctor.

Just when you thought the start of the day couldn’t get any weirder, a ships captain arrived with a red flag, followed quickly by Sherlock Holmes, and Zorro. ‘Sorry we’re late’ they exclaim, ‘we’re ready to help you take on the day.’

Then Murtagh spoke up and suggested- ask yourself these 5 questions for the presenting problems today:

  1. What is the probability diagnosis?
  2. What serious disorder/s must not be missed?
  3. What conditions can be missed in this situation?
  4. Could the patient have one of the ‘masquerades’ commonly encountered?
  5. Is the patient trying to tell me something?

Before you point out Murtagh is sitting next to a zebra, you remember Dr Cox quoting Dr Theodore Woodward at JD:

And you remember that the top 30 reasons for encounter in General Practice make up 58.7% of presentations…

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