Few days back one patient came to my o.p.d. for consultation. She had many questions about her disease. After an hour long counselling, she was convinced & got operated on the same day. At the time of discharge, she told me doc ” I have consulted many of your colleague in this town. They have more attractive hospital, more attractive staff who take care of customer with their sweet tongue , may be good referral system ….in short they have good showmanship. But that doctors are not able to answer my questions regarding the disease. I came to know about you from one of my known who had been operated here few years back. When i came here, I saw less showmanship & u answered my all queries. You have so much in depth knowledge, than why don’t u start showmanship like others?” She is well wisher of me & she had raised genuine question. I shared one story about “chauffeurs knowledge” with her.
After receiving the nobel prize for physics in 1918, mark planck went on tour across germany. Whereever he was invited, he delivered the same lacture on new quantum mechanics. Over the time his chauffeur grew to know it by heart:”It has to be boring giving the same speech each time, professor planck. How about i do it for you in munich? You can sit in front row & wear my chauffeur’s cap. That had give us both a bit of variety.” Planck like the idea, so evening driver held a long lecture on quantum mechanics in front of distinguished audience. Later a physics professor stood up with a question. The driver recoiled :” never would i have thought that someone from such a advanced city munich would ask such a simple question! My chauffeur will answer it.”
There is big difference between real knowledge & chauffeurs knowledge. For real knowledge , person has committed large amount of time & effort to understand it. While chauffeurs knowledge, is a knowledge from people who have learned to put on show, that person may be have great voice , good looks or better showmanship but the knowledge they espouce is not their own, They have not in depth knowledge at all. It’s very difficult to differentiate this two knowledge. Only way to differentiate is to ask questions. In medical practice many doctors try to treat disease which is not in his circle of competence, he treats it because he does not want to loose patient. That’s wrong practice. Develop your circle of competence, which defines your real knowledge, anything outside it than say “I don’t know ” & refer to another person which has that knowledge.
Next time whenever u go anywhere in any field , don’t biased by showmanship, try to judge real knowledge & chauffeurs knowledge….
Regards….Dr Mohal Banker