Medical students learn this phrase: “When you hear hoof beats, think horses. Don’t think zebras.” What does this mean?

It means that when you have a patient come in, don’t jump to conclusions that they have the rare condition. Always think that it is the normal one first.

But where does our mind go? Many times it thinks the worst, and then it just travels backwards. Usually, we think zebra in our mind, and then rule it out and say, “okay it must be something less severe”.

What are the problems in your life that you are blowing out of proportion – because it is very rare that it is that zebra. It is almost always the horse.

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