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Showing support for a patient - and knowing that support has been appreciated - when, despite the skill and dedication of the doctor, both know that the outcome may be blown off course by the winds of chance, can be difficult. To wish 'good luck' simply waves goodbye; emphasising the uncertainty and the inability of the doctor to control it. The phrases 'fingers crossed' and 'touch wood' can often go further, providing evidence that something of the doctor travels with that patient through those stormy waters ahead.
No competing interests
20 May 2016
Mark W Davies
Consultant in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust