Bankers note -Possibility v/s probability

Possibility & probability– are very useful two words in day to day life. But most of the time we fail to understand its  underlying true meaning. Let’s talk about possibility first. Possibility means some event may happen.  While probability means what are the chances of that possible event may happen. Like while we cross the road there is possibility of accident. But if we convert this possible event into probability , there are less than 0.001% probability of this event to occur. That’s why we cross road without any fear.

When this theory comes to my profession, l have observed people take decisions very wrong way. They give more weightage to possibility than probability. Let’s take example of oncology treatment first. Most of new chemotherapy for cancer treatment are highly costly & many times it’s successful outcome range from 2-7%. If any known person asks for my personal opinion, I explain them that successful probability is only 2%, but failure probability is 98%. You should not go for this treatment for your father or mother. But every time they fail to understand under pressure of emotion, they go for treatment &  outcome is always negative. Most of the time our human mind expects this low probability event will happen but unfortunately it does not work like that.

Many patients come to my o.p.d. , with swollen leg, lot of pain….& many other symptoms. I tell them to go for operation , next question from patient how much possibility of recurrence of disease? I honestly tell them about 2-5% recurrence rate. That means 95-98% probability that you are going to be cured. But many times patient gives more weightage to low probable recurrence event, avoid operation & choose to suffer for a long time, come in follow up with infected ulcer or profuse bleeding when operation is inevitable.

Most of the time human mind is not looking for probability of possible event ……that’s why end up with wrong decision. Next time whenever u get a chance , evaluate things in terms of probability……

Author: DR MOHAL BANKER

INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGIST

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