Serendipity … No Chance!

Serendipity could be defined as a “happy co-incidence” or “the discovery by accident of something fortuitous”.

There is a degree of irony in my choice of the word “serendipity” to describe how Tim Archer brought his analytical mathematical and computer based skills to the London Vision Clinic table.

The irony lies in whether someone scientific like Tim might believe in co incidence. Instead would he not pursue an equation which would provide a logical explanation and ultimately discount any possibility of luck playing a part in our lives?

I found myself drawn into a debate with Tim about the power of positive thinking and my ability to “conjure up” convenient parking spaces by visualisation. Of course, I could not prove my theory – it is all built on a hunch and a belief – but, after careful analysis and an open mind, Tim attempted to come up with a way that it might be proved – it was all to do with times of day and traffic flow..

Undoubtedly this analytical and evidence-based approach to data is essential in the medical research field which spills over into all aspects of the work being done at the London Vision Clinic.

While Tim and I were discussing “chance and coincidence” we were joined by one of the optometrists. She shared an experience of her previous work at a different laser eye clinic. The team of surgeons there had worked as individuals, she explained. Their results varied considerably not only between themselves but also on an individual basis from one day to another – there was no consistency and no structure to the way they carried out the procedures. It was all a bit “hit and miss”, she said.

Laser Eye Surgery, is not like other surgical operations – it does not call for charismatic surgeons with individual and changing styles of work”, she explained. “If someone here at the London Vision Clinic comes up with an idea that might be an improvement it will be discussed at length and then, if appropriate, would be introduced into a carefully constructed trial where the results would again be analysed before it might be taken on board.”

Nothing is left to chance. With qualifications being equal, instinctive “gut feelings” might be used in the selection of members of staff; however they play no part whatsoever in the way the surgical procedures or medical research is carried out at the London Vision Clinic.

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