Logic, education and intelligence have become so yesterday in their value. Now, we’re in a new era of charms, potions and, especially, omens.

Of course, I’ve always known that some mysterious power must be summoned in order to succeed in life. After all, how else can one explain how I made it through Physiological Optics in 1975? Had to be a miracle.

When my daughter was in labor with her first son, Max, her husband’s father, Amir, was seen wandering back and forth across a busy intersection about a hundred yards from where I was listening to a huge flock of birds chattering in a tree above my head. Amir’s pacing, combined with my own fascination with the aforementioned birds (none of which pooped on my head, despite their best efforts) must have been a good omen, right? Right! And grandson Max is amazing, although he does sit on tree branches and tweet while pacing from branch to branch a lot.

Mysterious Ways

There are, on the whole, good omens and bad ones. Their bottom line is Cause and Effect. I want to share some of these omens I’ve noted in my practice:

1. If a patient blocks out the sun when he enters the room, then he will likely break the footrest off of your exam chair.

2. If a squirrel chases you into your office (this has happened to me), then you are probably nuts.

3. If a patient tells you, “My insurance always pays my whole bill,” then you should, as professionally as possible, invoke the old French phrase “merde de taureau,” or something very similar.

4. If your new presbyopic patient picks up her glasses and then drives her car through your office landscaping while texting, then you are the wonderful doctor who helped her see her cell phone again.

5. If a patient appears to be hearing strange voices in his head, then he will never leave your practice.

6. If you see an increase in the number of woolly caterpillars outside, then you can expect the next week’s worth of patients will be tracking woolly caterpillar guts onto your office carpet. (FYI: The best way to remove woolly caterpillar guts from your office is to set it on fire and start over.)

7. If you spill fluorescein on your patient’s new dress, then she was heading from your office to the most important job interview in her life—which she will tell you right after you hit her with phenylephrine and mydriacyl drops, too.

8. If Hell freezes over, then you will see an increase in your Medicare reimbursement.

9. If you decide to cheerily tell the next patient “Merry Christ­mas,” then he or she will be a Jehovah’s Witness.

10. If a patient says he “can’t afford” your recommendation, then he is a smoker.

So, doctors, what do you see happening in your office that seems witchy or perhaps from a higher power? Have you learned there are no accidents and your life is perhaps controlled from without, not within? What are your omens? What causes lead to what effects? If you see more patients, do you make more money? Ain’t the vision plans fault there. Are you in control of anything at all? Should you hire consultants, or just buy a Ouija Board? Strategize by tea leaves or fortune cookies, perhaps?

Works for me—tea and cookies have never let me down.