With imprecise definitions, inexact measurement tools, and flawed study execution, our clinical science often lags behind bedside experience and simply documents what appear to be the apparent faults or validity of ongoing practices. These impressions are later confirmed, modified, or overturned by the results of the next trial. On the other hand, insights that stem from the intuitions of experienced clinicians, scientists and educators-while often neglected-help place current thinking into proper perspective and occasionally point the way toward formulating novel hypotheses that direct future research. Both streams of information and opinion contribute to progress. In this paper we present a wide-ranging set of unproven 'out of the mainstream' ideas of our FCCM faculty, each with a defensible rationale and holding clear implications for altering bedside management. Each proposition was designed deliberately to be provocative so as to raise awareness, stimulate new thinking and initiate lively dialog.