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Doctors today are becoming increasingly dependent on technology. It is not inherently a bad thing, since with time comes change. We have seen tremendous improvements over the course of the past century that have totally altered the face of the medicine that our predecessors knew. However, at the same time, there is an increasing concern that technology is also the reason why doctors today don’t feel as satisfied with their practice as doctors a century ago.

Today some believe that the recent change in the use of information technology has left the doctor-patient relationship severely crippled thus discouraging many doctors. Dr. Paul Weygandt, an orthopedic surgeon, shares the common belief that today’s medicine has allowed for the involvement of too many intermediates between the doctor and the patient, thus further deepening the divide between them.

Doctor running CT scan from control room.

Image Source: Morsa Images

In an article published in The Atlantic, Dr. Weygandt reported, “Too many technological systems are built in ways that make sense to computer engineers, but not to doctors”. He argues that doctors should become more active, not only in implementing new approaches, but also in helping design and tailor it to the needs of their profession.

Dr. Weygandt’s argument does make a lot of sense, since who knows this targeted profession more than the doctors themselves? They can help change the technology so that it better reflects their needs, thus serving them better, and all that this requires are little changes.

But no one said that implementing these changes will be easy. Much of the technology that is currently available to physicians is highly focused on generating revenue and takes up a lot of time that can otherwise be better spent trying to capture the essence of a patient’s story. To really improve the doctor-patient relationship, doctors need to be encouraged to not think foremost about their own income but about the well-being of their patients. Luckily, most doctors are more than enthusiastic to see fewer patients, invest more time, and sacrifice their own incomes for a few months to help develop medical technology that will allow them to serve their patients better.

Feature Image Source: Doctor greating patient by Vic

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