Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Your Family Doctor?


As a baby boomer entering the AARP and Medicare world, several thoughts come to mind and are of concern. Would it be better if I knew less about medicine, health care policies, need for cost containment, the abuse of self-referral, the potential that my own future health decisions might be made by individuals with limited medical education?

According to Money magazine, (March 2011 pages 98-106), the Association of American Medical Colleges has projected that in 2015 there will be 63,000 fewer physicians than it needs. Furthermore, an article in The Atlantic, "Artificial Intelligence Is the Next Killer App" referenced a statement by a Microsoft executive in a New York Times article speculating that future applications might include a "medical doctor in a box" that could help with basic medical issues.

Radiologists have been the earliest physician adapters to technology and I am not anti-technology or opposed to non-physician assistants being involved with patient care but I am concerned with appropriate and inaccurate information being communicated and acted on without validation and appropriate oversight. In my opinion and for me personally, I want trained experienced personnel to listen, examine and treat the patient, not the lab test or the X-Ray result

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