How to Find the Zebra Among all the Horses…

Dr. Christine Sauer, MD ND
10 min readMar 20, 2022

A Framework For Reasoning In Healthcare When It Comes To “Abnormal” Medical Symptoms And Lab Test Findings

Do you suffer from “weird” symptoms? No-one seems to find what it could be?

Have you been given a summary label like “depression”, “anxiety”, “irritable bowel”, “fatigue”, “functional…”, “fibromyalgia”, “chronic …syndrome”, or something like it?

Here is the process that I use with my clients to get to the root causes of their symptoms and drill down to how to best help them address their individual situation, illness or disease and help them to truly start living their best life, full of energy, passion and purpose.

This also can help you if you are a healthcare provider (or if you would like to better communicate with your own healthcare provider).

The Current State of Healthcare

Many doctors, despite having good intentions, do not have the time — and sometimes the knowledge or experience needed -

  • to take a good history (this alone can take more than two hours in complex cases),
  • do additional research (and there is no limit to available resources nowadays) and then
  • explain their findings to their patients or clients in a way that they can understand but is not so simple that they can’t make a truly informed decision of their own.

Medical Schools, at least in North America, overwhelmingly focus on using so-called “conventional methods” to “cure” diseases, like pharmaceuticals and surgery.

Medical Students are taught: “If you see hoofprints, think horses, not zebras”.

Which means: Common things are common, and rare diseases are just that. Most doctors rarely see truly rare diseases (pun intended)

“Conventional” Medicine can be immensely helpful and effective for acute (sudden) or very serious illnesses and there have been many advances to help manage chronic illnesses better and prolong…



Dr. Christine Sauer, MD ND

German-trained physician, Brain & Mental Health Professional, Educator and Coach; Helping Rising Stars to Sparkle —