Good Monday morning,
Autopsy is not a word that slips out of our mouths that easily in today’s world (especially on a Monday morning, but stay with me on this…) for a variety of reasons, most likely because we don’t really want to think that someday we are going to die. Autopsies really came into vogue (if you can say that) in 1761 with a scientific paper published by Dr Giovanni Morgagni who did over 700 autopsies and produced the first modern thinking on cause and effect of disease.
In the early 1950’s, autopsies were performed for over 50% of deaths. They played a key role in helping doctors, through trial and error, pioneer heart surgery and better understand cancer and other major causes of death. However, now the autopsy rate has decreased to less than 20% of deaths due to the use of MRI’s, etc.
Dr. George Lundberg points out in his 1998 study that in 25-40% of cases in which an autopsy is conducted, an undiagnosed cause of death is revealed. Dr. Lundberg spoke about one particular family that thought their Mom had Alzheimer’s disease, when in fact she suffered from a series of strokes. The result is that their children will now pay more attention to their cardiovascular health, and are not worrying about themselves getting Alzheimer’s.
The word autopsia, from the Greek ‘autos’ meaning self & ‘optos’ meaning seen. It literally means to see yourself.
I find that interesting especially in the work that I do as a career coach. One of my clients who is a doctor, recently shared, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” She was looking for a living “autopsy” to get to the heart of the matter about fit of her career path & her natural talents, passions & lifestyle.
Like my client, sometimes you have to go under the knife to get the heart of the matter (pun intended) not only in illness or death, but while you are perfectly healthy. It is only when you “dissect” the problem in your career that you can start to understand the big picture & start to make a plan & take control over your work circumstances. The good news with the work we do, is that you don’t literally have to go under the knife – although you may have to say “Awww”!
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To great career health, along the road with you!
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