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  • Writer's pictureBernard Beitman, MD

Synchronicity in Medicine: How Physicians Are Using Meaningful Coincidences

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Amazing Coincidences Are Saving Lives and Advancing Medicine.

I’m excited to launch our latest podcast, where I discuss life-changing coincidences with with scientist, surgeon and philosopher Dr. Tamara Tilleman. We cover the need to pay attention to odd details, the importance of finding evidence to support new ideas, and the courage it takes to challenge beliefs that are no longer useful.

As a lead-in, here are two amazing medical coincidence stories I’ve received from colleagues:

An otolaryngologist imagines the future.

On a Sunday morning while reading a book, I had some sort of vision or dream. It came into my mind of a patient I had never met before. The patient was in the hospital at another service. He just happened to have a tracheostomy. The vision or dream that came to me was the patient bleeding from his tracheostomy site, with a host of hospital personnel surrounding his bed trying to sort out the situation. That evening around approximately 10:00 p.m., I was called to the hospital to see a patient. When I walked into the room, it was the exact same scene that I had witnessed earlier that morning same people standing around the patient. It was very peaceful and surreal. I felt no stress or anxiety. Things went extremely smoothly because I had already anticipated the situation. — James Schemmel, MD

An internist accurately dreams of a next-day patient encounter.

I dreamt the young son of one of my medical partners was in an examining room, on an exam table, and a technician was performing some sort of test on his head. The child, about three years old, was going berserk. His mother was standing at his side, attempting to console him, to no avail. The technician threw up her hands, abandoned the procedure, and walked away. I woke up, went to work and during the lunch hour was chatting with the father (my colleague), when his wife walked in, carrying the little boy in her arms. His hair was wet, and he was crying, obviously upset. She proceeded to tell her husband what had happened. Just what I had dreamed. I was stunned, having dreamt this complex series of events in detail before they happened. (The actual study was an EEG because the child had had a minor febrile seizure the day prior, which I did not know about.) — Larry Dossey, MD

Learn more about how medical coincidences are making a real difference in the lives of both patients and physicians in our fascinating discussion.

Watch the podcast now:

And check out our full list of podcasts here…

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