Best Laid Plans, and Why We Need a Plan B

Physician's Money Digest, January 2006, Volume 13, Issue 1

In his famous poem "To a Mouse," the 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns brilliantly tells the story of a small mouse whose modest home of leaves was completely destroyed and faced a winter of bitter cold and starvation with grim life prospects. The source of the often-quoted "The best laid plans of mice and men go often awry," Burns' poem is a great source for physicians to gain perspective on our current and future financial challenges. If you read the whole poem carefully, which can be found online at www.bartleby.com/6/ 76.html, you'll be glad you did, especially the next-to-the-last stanza:

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,

In proving foresight may be vain:

Gang aft agley,

For promis'd joy!