The Danger of CB Thoughts

Yes, CB thoughts are a concept that was introduced to J much earlier, but it was only in a rotation through General Surgery that the term “CB thought” was taught to him. CB – being an acronym for a vulgar Hokkien term for parts of the human anatomy.

The rule is –

If you think that things will go smoothly, everything bad will occur.
If you say out loud that things will go smoothly, everything bad will occur x many many.

Example 1:
Sitting at breakfast, a colleague in J.’s team looked at the day’s operating schedule and said, “Oh looks like today will be a good day, we’ll probably be done at 3pm.”


To put it in a nutshell, a patient proceeded to have severe BGIT requiring urgent scopes etc. etc. and the entire team’s day ended at 8pm.

Example 2:

On call, a senior said, “Tonight’s call seems okay. After this we go and eat prata. Call me when OtherColleague is back from his shower.” and walks out.


5min later, the house officer calls J. 2min later, they are resuscitating the patient. 3min later, the senior is leading the resus. 2 hours later, the patient is alive and in the ICU. There was no prata, but there were patients in the A&E begging to be seen.

Yes. As you might imagine, this is not a good thing to be happening. With that in mind, go forth and work! With no CB thoughts.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cairo on September 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    lol! gambate J !!


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