The Waiting Room: Are You Burnt? | The Rise of The Computer
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Welcome to The Waiting Room, a place no one really wants to be in but is a necessary evil if you want to get the appropriate medical/financial care.
I hope this latest offering can help you bide the time.
In a previous post I described a burnout continuum in which there are various degrees of burnout an individual can be in as well as the importance of recognizing burnout before it gets to end stage.
Would you like to see where you may be on this Burnout scale?
No problem, answer the following questions and leave it to the oracle to decide your current level.
Provoker of Thought: Artificial Intelligence
It is amazing the rapid advances in technology we are seeing in the past few years.
As computers get smarter there will be consequences, both good and bad (and no I do not believe in a Terminator type scenario playing out).
Just a point to ponder which can hopefully elicit some nice discussion in the comment section below.
Let’s face it. The bottom line for every business is money.
Humans are expensive:
- They want raises.
- They want bonuses.
- They want paid vacations.
Humans can also be problematic:
- Can be unreliable
- Can fall sick and miss work
- Carry a litigious risk
- Can make mistakes
- Possible personality conflicts/awkward interpersonal relationships
As a business owner, if a human can be replaced with a machine it seems to be a no-brainer to do so.
We have already seen machines replace assembly line workers, increasing throughput and decreasing costs.
As self-driving technology improves, at risk professions will include those involved with transportation, such as truck and taxi drivers.
In regards to medicine, there will also be specialties that will be dramatically impacted in the future and possibly eliminated.
Being a radiologist I have greatly benefited from these advances.
Since I left training my workflow has dramatically improved with the invention of PACS (Picture Archiving Communication System) and RIS (Radiology Information System) development.
I am going to date myself (and really I am only 15 years out of training) but I used to actually hold X-ray film (for my younger colleagues it is a thin flexible medium that makes a cool sound if you wave it back and forth real fast) and place it on a viewbox (again for the younger ones, a large contraption with a light source that allows you to backlight the film).
It was a tedious process to make sure you hang the many films in the correct order and orientation even before you had a chance to analyze the actual images.
At the completion of the study interpretation you were also required to shove all these films into a folder that was typically already at capacity.
Films got lost or put in wrong patient jackets.
Your workspace became a game of Jenga as these folders began to accumulate and balance precipitously over you.
It was just an inefficient mess.
PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) was a Godsend.
There were hanging protocols set up in PACS for each type of study and the order, history, and reporting system were all connected to the viewed image so there was a dramatic decrease in communication errors as well as a giant leap in efficiency.
Other technological advances such as voice recognition software and CAD (Computer Aided Detection) have also increased my efficiency and interpretation skills.
But as technology advances even further, can I be replaced?[This is where, in my head, I hear my viewers chime in, “No Xrayvsn! You are Irreplaceable!”]
I would say that there is a distinct possibility that technology advances so much in the future that my profession could be considered superfluous.
I doubt it will happen during my career as there are still a lot of bugs and kinks to be worked out for a computer to get to a level of a competent radiologist.
Part of medicine is an art form.
You have to take into account a lot of extraneous factors that can shape a planned course of treatment or even an image interpretation.
Anyone who has been in medicine for even just a few days realizes that cases rarely follow the perfect textbook example.
There are variants in anatomy and other interactions a physician considers that truly require a case by case basis for treatment.
That being said, out of all the specialties I do think Radiology is the one that would be on the chopping block first when our computer overlords take over.
Other specialties that I also think may have to consider eventual computer takeover would be anesthesiology and perhaps pathology.
I have joked about it before, but this computer threat to medical specialties may form an unlikely alliance between lawyers and doctors because it is much easier to sue a human.
In the comment section below, I would love to hear from my medical colleagues about your specialty and what is the likelihood of a computer taking over your job.
And just like that, your wait in the waiting room is over. Hope it wasn’t too unpleasant (and please put back the magazines you took so the next patient may enjoy them as well).
I would like to welcome the latest sponsor into the XRAYVSN family, Pradeep Audho of PK Insurance Group.
PKA Insurance Group Inc.
Based in MA, but licensed to practice nationwide.
His focus is on Disability and Life insurance.
Pradeep has many years of experience providing clients with Disability and Life insurance.
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