This isn’t a specifically medical usage problem, but it appears in medical writing as well. Use of the phrase “one <fill in relevant item/person> at a time” is rampant. I have never understood it. Sometimes it’s the only way a given activity or objective could be accomplished but in other cases, it’s absurd. Notably, in this advertising campaign by the Canadian division of the Salvation Army.
If there is one problem that should not be addressed “one at a time,” it’s poverty.
The campaign seems to have been underway for at least a year, but I just became aware of it when I saw a movie last night — at a movie theatre — where this visual was one of the seemingly never-ending commercials shown before the feature finally appears.
If there is one problem that should not be addressed “one at a time,” it’s poverty. According to Make Poverty History, an umbrella group of Canadian anti-poverty organizations that is a member of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), 1.2 billion people globally live in “extreme poverty,” more than 925 million people go to bed hungry and 50,000 people die every day from poverty-related causes. The group also says that more than 3.5 million Canadians live in poverty.
And the Salvation Army wants to end poverty among 3.5 million households “one family at a time”?~TM