A ways back, when we were debating whether a particular patient's very strange answers on the mental status exam warranted a workup for a possible brain lesion (sadly these days not at all an unlikely proposition), our attending related a true-life parable from a simpler time. As he tells it: I was in Korea doing screening history and physicals for the troops on the way to the front. After a spotless checkup on a certain fine specimen of American manhood, I started in on the "Mental Status" exam. Who is the President, count back from a hundred by sevens, what is meant by A Stitch In Time Saves Nine, and all the usual old chestnuts. We were humming along fine till I came to the "Insight and Judgement" section. I read from my standard-issue manual: You are walking along the street and come upon an unlabeled envelope. In the envelope you find 1000 dollars in unmarked twenty dollar bills. What do you do? The young private stared at me blankly for a moment then crisply replied, "I would report to my superior officer and await further instructions." Dumbfounded, I asked him if that was all. "I would report to my superior officer and await further instructions, Sir." he shot back. Taking pen in hand, I forever eliminated my chances of a military career by noting in the soldier's chart: Recruit displays either the most total lack of imagination and initiative I have ever seen in my career as a physician... or the most perfect dedication to the principles of military thought yet recorded in this battalion. I am not quite sure which.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)