What makes doctors dispensable?
If what you do as a physician is easy, you should be concerned
There’s a lot of anxiety among doctors about things like artificial intelligence and automation. You don’t have to look far to find stories and discussions about doctors being replaced. So should we be concerned? Are doctors really dispensable?
Here’s a thought: If what you do as a physician is easy, maybe you should be nervous. Because…
Rote transactional care can be done by advanced practitioners.
Identifying patterns is ripe for artificial intelligence.
Repetitive things can be automated.
Machine learning is getting better at putting basic clinical stories together.
Our biggest opportunity is with the hard human stuff that sits in between. The things that machines struggle with and can only mimic. Things like nuance, ambiguity, abstraction and big picture thinking. Acting as the human interface between patients and technology represents a unique opportunity for doctors as well.
The things that make medicine easy are the things that make doctors dispensable.
What will make the next generation of doctors dispensable in the next 25 years? And maybe we should start to ask, what makes a doctor indispensable?
Image via DALL-E