There is a lot of anxiety among doctors about things like artificial intelligence and automation. You don’t have to look very far to find stories and discussions doctors will be replaced. So should we worry? Are doctors dispensable?
Here’s an idea: if what you do as a doctor is easy, maybe you should be nervous. Because …
- Advanced professionals can do transactional attention by voting.
- Visual pattern identification is ripe for artificial intelligence.
- Repetitive things can be automated in different ways.
- Algorithms and machine learning are getting better at combining basic medical histories.
Our biggest opportunity is with the hard human things in the middle. The things that machines struggle with and can only be imitated. Things like nuance, ambiguity, abstraction, and general thinking. The human interface between people and truly advanced intervention tools will become a key role for physicians as well.
The things that make medicine easier are the things that make doctors dispensable.
What else will make this generation of doctors dispensable in the next 25 years? More importantly, what makes doctors indispensable?