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Is There Such Thing as a Black Cloud?

December 4, 2017

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There is no such thing as a “black cloud.”  Those who self-identified as a black-cloud were also identified as such by their peers, but a look at the actual PED metrics showed no statistical difference except higher admission rate.  I’m not sure I believe this, but there you go…

Why does this matter?
Well, it doesn’t in all candor. I just found this to be entertaining and mythbusting.

Are you a black cloud?
This was a study of 13 French PED night shifts physicians at a single center.  Pediatricians who self identified as jinxed or having a black cloud were compared with their non-jinxed peers.  They found those who self identified as a black cloud were also seen as such by their peers.  But when they drilled down on the actual patient-level data of acuity and patient volume, the black clouds were no worse than the others, with the single exception of having a higher admission rate.

Jinx or Not?: There Is Nothing Like a “Black Cloud” Syndrome.  Pediatr Emerg Care. 2017 Oct;33(10):686-689. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000663.

Peer reviewed by Thomas Davis, MD.

What are your thoughts?