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Machine Medicine’s Threat On Our Doctors

Last month in the New York Times Magazine, author Abraham Verghese, tells a story about a young physician sitting in his office with a visual diagnosis of existential despair. This young physician is burned out. He goes on to state that the cost of burnout in physicians is the biggest price of modern machine medicine.  The cause? Technology.

As technology is disrupting our world and the health care sector, we have to wonder, do the pros outweigh the cons? Although reduced medication errors, a hub for laboratory and imaging information, and legible notes are among the positives resulting from electronic health records (EHRs), the fault to machine medicine is that these EHRs were never built with any understanding of the rituals of care or the user experience of physicians or nurses. These machines do not replace a real interpersonal diagnosis between the patient and the physician, and thus, have contributed to more than a quarter of a million deaths per year because of medical errors. Verghese worries that such mistakes come because we’ve gotten trapped in the bunker of machine medicine. He recounts his own experience in the ER—receiving care, but not feeling cared for.

“True clinical judgment is more than addressing the avalanche of blood work, imaging and lab tests; it is about using human skills to understand where the patient is in the trajectory of a life and the disease, what the nature of the patient’s family and social circumstances is and how much they want done.”

What are your thoughts on machine medicine? Do the threats outweigh the positives that come with the advancement of technology? Let’s start a discussion! Post your thoughts  in the comment section of this blog.

Read the full article article below. 

How Tech Can Turn Doctors Into Clerical Workers