Dr. Bob Continues Cherry-Picking

Posted: May 3, 2014 in Dr. Bob, On Being Apostolic
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When Dr. Bob returned to his practice, his new found insights gained while cherry picking immediately began to find application in his practice.

When hiring new staff, he “cherry picked”. Not only did he pick the most academically and experientially qualified, and not only did he hire the best “attitude”, but he also hired the best looking candidates. No…not “best looking” in the Hollywood sense, but best-looking in the sense of representing the tanned, toned, South Beach ideal of his practice. And this form of “cherry-picking” worked out so well, that he rapidly expanded his application of the metaphor to many areas of his life, both mundane and professional.

Like photographs. That’s right. Pictures. Whenever publicity pics were taken, Dr. Bob “cherry-picked” the people who would appear in them. So; any candid shots that appeared in area magazines or newspapers, any pics that were posted on his clinic’s Facebook page, etc…all the human subjects of those photos were carefully selected to insure that they represented the clinic’s ideal. And while Dr. Bob was sidling anemic-looking spouses with love handles out of a staff picnic picture, the mantra was running through his mind; “Only the best!”

He applied his cherry-picking metaphor to other things too, chanting “only the best” in his head all the while. Dr. Bob began applying his cherry-picking metaphor to the way he did research. He became so concerned with only picking what seemed to be the best for the clinic that he’d only pick out and publicize research that supported his ideas. If he read something that flatly contradicted his ideas, he’d ignore it completely…even when the article came from the journals he regularly used to support his views.

He even applied the metaphor to medical records! That’s right! Dr. Bob because so obsessed with only picking the best, with only presenting the best image, that he actually began to alter the way he recorded patient data! In fact, it reached the place where it was hard to tell from his records that he ever had a patient who didn’t follow his instructions to the letter, who didn’t make a full recovery, and who wasn’t incredibly pleased with all aspects of Dr. Bob’s care. Weight and blood pressure always seemed (according to the records) to move in the right direction. Unhealthy habits like smoking always seemed to be properly resolved. In fact, among the governing bodies that reviewed such things, Dr. Bob’s clinic began to acquire the reputation of being almost miraculous in its ability to treat the sick.

Then, the state auditor called. Seems somehow she’d heard about Dr. Bob’s cherry-picking, and for some reason, she had an entirely different view of his metaphor. It seems that to her mind Dr. Bob’s mantra of “only the best” wasn’t remotely inspirational or motivational when it came to the practice of medicine. It seems that she thought of it as suppression of contrary evidence, as an example of confirmation bias. In her mind, the application of Dr. Bob’s cherry-picking metaphor led him to ignore facts, data, and information that would not put him or his clinic in the best possible light.

It seemed that the intrepid Dr. Bob had cherry-picked himself into a very awkward situation.

Stay tuned for more Dr. Bob’s heroic adventures…

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