One of my favorite bloggers, Seth Godin, recently introduced me to the work of Scott McCloud, an author who’s written several classic books on understanding comic books. Scott dissects the comic medium and explains the ongoing allure of the comic book to the uninitiated.
One of Scott’s observations is that comic books require imagination on the part of the reader because, in all great comic books, the action occurs between the frames. The artist only shows you snapshots of action and dialogue. Most of the story takes place in our heads. The real story is the stuff that we invent that happened in-between the frames.
Medicine works in much the same way. We assess, we ask our questions, we do our head-to-toe and we make a guess (educated) about what’s going on. Then we make a change, and the medicine begins, after we make the change, not before.
Then we do the in-between stuff. Loading the patient on the pram, shoring up the splinting, carrying the bags back and forth, making a phone call to the doc. And the medicine works … or it doesn’t.
And then we start the next frame. The action starts all over, but make no mistake, the medicine happened while we were doing other things. Just off the boarder of the frame. Between one action and the next, while were busy doing the in-between-stuff, the medicine happens.
Don’t miss it.
Now it’s your turn: Do we forget to focus on the medicine that happens in-between our interventions? Is it important to remember that the medicine happens in-between interventions or is it just a matter of semantics.