… you drop a piece of food on the floor while cooking and think, “that one’s lost to follow-up.”
… you dismiss an unlikeable opinion with the line, “well, that’s just a sample size of one.”
… anyone asking you whether something is good for them had better get comfortable while you give them a detailed run down of the data including the latest systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and wind up with the verdict from the Cochrane Collaboration.
… your dinner party anecdotes often involve faecal transplants, the benefits of charcoal-lined underpants for managing malodorous flatulence, and the backdraft problems associated with the pneumatic speculum.
… when a member of the general public collapses in front of you, you sail in to help, trumpeting, “don’t worry, I’m a medical journalist.”
… every lump/ache is cancer, every twinge is gout, every tingle is MS/MND/peripheral neuropathy, every headache is a stroke, every cough is H5N1.
… you know the names (and can pronounce gems like ximelagatran, buprenorphine, methylprednisolone and adalimumab without stumbling), and brand names of most of the major drugs on the market and what they treat.
… you know more than a lot of GPs about particular diseases or conditions but can’t fill a syringe or take someone’s blood pressure to save your life (well, theirs actually).