Humans and technology in healthcare. Clinical Method comes first. 8
One of the goals in this project is to highlight the primacy and the value of humans in medicine. Our goal is to provide the antithesis to growing public’s perception that doctors have become servants of technology. And nothing much else. How do you think about physician’s place in current technology-driven world? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. How to promote the value of humanity and compassion in modern medicine? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. How to get the public to understand that value? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Well, you are bringing two issues. One topic is about the human aspect. It is important to pay attention to what the patient’s going through emotionally when you deal with them. Dr. Marshall Wolf, MD. The fact is that they may be frightened. They may have a large amount of denial in dealing with their problem. Dr. Marshall Wolf, MD. The second issue is the balance between old-fashioned clinical medicine and new technology. I don’t see those as competing. I have been around a long time. I have seen new science and technology provide for patients something that I couldn’t have provided when I was starting in medicine. I have seen technology help in curing patients or helping patients. I do think that the important thing is this. Physician’s first job, when a patient comes in, is to decide this. “Is the patient sick or not?” Sometimes patients are worried about something that isn’t too important. It is not a health hazard. You have to decide that. Then, once you have decided that they have a problem. You have to use history to try and figure out, what might be going on. I like to talk about the Clinical Method. Dr. Marshall Wolf, MD. The patient comes in with a complaint. You listen to their story. You then have several hypotheses about what might be going on. You then talk further to the patient to try to define those hypotheses. Based on your hypotheses you do a focused physical examination. This may change your hypotheses. Then, based on your history and physical exam, you say. “I’m worried about A, B and C.” That point is a time when you involve technology to try and figure out. “Is it A, B or C?” Dr. Marshall Wolf, MD. The problem is, a lot of physicians start out in a wrong way. Dr. Marshall Wolf, MD. The patient gives the chief complaint. Then physicians immediately start with the technology diagnostic tests. That is the wrong way to do things. It is backwards. It is thinking first. Then using the gadgets later. Yes. You may be trying to figure out if the patient has pneumonia or chest wall pain. An X-ray may be useful as a physical exam doesn’t answer the question. For that problem usually you don’t need a CT or MRI. Often, if you do physical exam, you can figure out if they have a pneumonia, without chest X-ray.
How can patients avoid mistakes when dealing with a medical problem? Leading doctors share wisdom: