From Wikipedia: âZebra is a medical slang term for a surprising diagnosis. The zebraâs black and white stripes tie powerful symbolism to the zebra. Letâs begin with the symbolism that surrounds the zebra spiritual totemâs physical characteristics. Dr. Theodore Woodward, a former professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, coined this term in the late 1940s. Search medical terms and abbreviations with the most up-to-date and comprehensive medical dictionary from the reference experts at Merriam-Webster. The zebras pattern of black on white, or white on black implies that what you see is not always what you get. Why is the zebra associated with NET Cancer? new search; suggest new definition; Search for ZEBRA in Online Dictionary Encyclopedia showing only Science & Medicine definitions (show all 6 definitions) Note: We have 4 other definitions for ZEBRA in our Acronym Attic. Symbolic Meaning Of Zebra. What does a Zebra spirit animal mean? In medicine, the term âzebraâ is used in reference to a rare disease or condition, like Neuroendocrine (NET) Cancers. But many of us spend years pursuing a diagnosis for disorders that arenât well known. The symbolism of the Zebra spirit animal in various mythical stories and cultures mainly represented vision and brilliance.Like most animal totems/spirit animals, the spirit guide of the zebra comes into our lives to help us make meaning to various life experiences. They show harmony that opposites can create, just like the yin yang combination. In others the imagination must be awakened. In medicine, the term âzebraâ is used in reference to a rare disease or condition. Questioning reality and illusion is common amongst people with zebra medicine, though an over analytic intellect can be a hindrance for some with this totem. âZebraâ is a term that is used to describe a surprising diagnosis. As such, during differential diagnoses most medical students (such as Foreman) have learnt to assume that the patient's symptoms are caused by a common ailment rather than a rare one. The zebra spirit animal is undoubtedly one of the most impactful of all animal totems. An obscure illness, disease or condition affecting a comparatively small number of people, but with symptoms somewhat similar to one or more different and more common illnesses. Master today's medical â¦ It derives from the saying âWhen you hear hoof beats behind you, donât expect to see a Zebraâ. zebra body: metachromatically staining membrane-bound granules, measuring 0.5-1 mcm in diameter and containing lamellae with a 5.8 nm spacing, reported in Schwann cells and macrophages of patients suffering from metachromatic leukodystrophy. What did my mentor, the Sage of HCMC, mean by this? Medical students have been taught for decades that, âWhen you hear hoofbeats behind you, donât expect to see a zebra.â In other words, look for the more common and usual, not the surprising, diagnosis. â Medical students are thought to assume that the simplest explanation is usually the best, i.e., it is usually correct to look for common rather than exotic causes [â¦] Although rare diseases are, in general, surprising when they are encountered, other [common] diseases can be surprising in a particular person and time, and so âzebraâ is the broader concept.â It is named because these diseases/conditions are sometimes misdiagnosed by well meaning (but often inexperienced) doctors when something far more common is actually the cause. Doctors are taught to assume that the simplest explanation is usually correct to avoid patients being misdiagnosed with rare illnesses. In medical slang, a zebra is a surprising, unexpected diagnosis.1 In many cases, an uncommon or rare disease which has identical symptoms to a common disease qualifies as a zebra. Doctors learn to expect common conditions. What is the Meaning of the Zebra Spirit Animal? When the zebra totem comes into your life, you receive its â¦ The black and white stripes on the zebra animal create a perfect balance. Zebra Associated Traits. Free, Wild, Distinctive, Identity, Individualism, Opposite, Middle Ground, Free Spirit, Community, Family.