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ChatGPT Will See You Now..

Dana Corriel, MD shares commentary and thoughts, based on recent study results on AI outperforming doctors.

April 8, 2024

Is ChatGPT going to replace your good ‘ole doctor?

Some think it may.

It sounds like the perfect April Fool’s joke, what with April Fool’s taking place a few short days ago. Ironically, the new findings on this topic were actually published on April Fool’s Day, too, leaving a few of us wondering if they were real (ah, the different angles of irony here!).

The JAMA study published April 1st, 2024 apparently found that the reasoning abilities of our new-age chatbots may outperform those of real-life physicians, where it comes to simulated cases.

Additionally, per a new article out just few days later, “GPT-4 earned higher clinical reasoning scores than residents and attendings.”

You can read more about the statistical interpretation in the MedPage article.

 

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I threw the question out to the social media masses. I wanted to explore just how we’re interpreting this finding, and where we see this headed, as we continue to embrace inventions.

“While AI does well with data driven solutions, it’s not a human engaging another human,” said Dustin Karas, co-founder of Pattern.

“AI is a tool,” he continued. “Great healthcare requires a provider to sense patient needs that go beyond a generated AI response. I believe the best healthcare requires accurate data insights coupled with a physician that genuinely cares for the patient. People want people taking care of them.”

He brings in a great viewpoint and I certainly share in his sentiments.

I think what makes us special is that we “feel”. We empathize.

Machines can’t do that. At least not yet (will they ever? Hmm..)

 

I think what makes us special is that we "feel". We empathize. Machines can't do that. At least not yet (will they ever? Hmm..)

 

Dylan Pietrantoni, a 3rd-year medical student, pointed out that these findings support the urgency in which there needs to be an introduction of AI education to medical school curriculums.

“One limitation to the technology is clinician proficiency,” he said about this, “And seeing as how AI will impact medicine from this point forward, there should be a strong effort to teach it along the way.

I’ve personally been a loud proponent of healthcare change, especially at the student level. The rest of the world seems to be evolving at a rapid pace, while medicine remains sluggish in catching up.

We need students learning about new age technology, where it comes to medicine, how the online world changes the face of patient-physician interactions, and what we can do to protect ourselves, our name, and our career.

There’s so much more that we can teach the younger generation, and there’s valuable connections that we can help them make.

(See the new STUDENT section we’re building at SoMedDocs, which aims to do some of that).

 

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Another great comment was thrown into the discussion by neurosurgeon Brian Gantwerker, MD that’s worth a mention. He said, “[AI in healthcare] Gives ammunition to insurers to pay us less and also doesn’t answer who’s liable when ChatGPT is wrong.”

Interesting point!

Yes, we have not yet explored the true potential of AI in healthcare, nor the implications, good or bad.

It may help the patient, in many ways, but does it actually help the physician?

Crucial food for thought.

Cherisa Sandrow, DO, replied to Dr. Gantwerker, telling him, “I think, ideally, we work with them,” to which he replied, “Maybe. Not for me.

I prefer to have stake in decisions that affect my patients and not off shore to a computer.

Call me a Luddite. I’ve watched too many sci-fi movies and to be frank, I consider them prescient.”

 

“Bots can’t replace physicians. While they can certainly assist,” she wrote, “They lack the human empathy and complex decision-making essential in the medical profession.”
Hers seemed a more hopeful and optimistic outlook, with less of an “encroachment” approach.
I’m personally an optimistic person, too. I tend to view glasses as half full
But I also love pop culture, and happen to have caught most episodes of Black Mirror, a dystopian, modern day Twilight Zone, mostly dealing with advanced technology in a future world.
The repercussions numbered many.
The endings, rarely happy.
Scary stuff.

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The bottom line is this, folks: the future is here.

(Though is it? Does that even make sense to say?)

As uncomfortable as it may make many of us feel, it is our reality.

Many of us are probably feeling some real resentment about this. And that’s totally understandable.

After years – no, decades – of education, to have us replaced by machines is simply scary.

It’s unimaginable, one could say. An “unknown”.

Why go into medicine in the first place, as a physician, when someone else – no, something else.. a machine, no less! – can outperform us?

Here’s where we need to do better.

 

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We need to figure out our place within the system, and what we do better than the rest.

My proposition is that we reconsider the role of physicians within a healthcare field that’s rapidly changing.

Within a corporate structure that’s looking to replace us.

Within an innovative time that’s creating more intelligent machines.

How do we utilize a highly intelligent and motivated sector of our society (physician) that specializes in health, and that’s now gradually facing, head-on, necessary evolution?

How do we identify the good kinds of innovations, versus the bad?

How do we embrace positive innovations, while still utilizing our (human) strengths?

 

Why go into medicine in the first place, as a physician, when someone else - no, something else.. a machine, no less! - can outperform us?

 

I’m also going to raise another point here, though it’s a small side note, and probably more of a vent.

I have beef with the fact that JAMA publishes its findings behind pay walls.

If these studies are sponsored, which they almost always are, there should be sufficient funding to not need to hide it behind a wall.

That’s just my take, and I felt compelled to share it.

Don’t be shy, if you’ve made it to the end of this article. I want to hear what you have to say (and so does the SoMeDocs audience).

Let us know here.

Dana Corriel, MD

Dana Corriel, MD

“I haven’t LEFT medicine, I’m simply taking time to tackle its issues from a different angle. I’m stepping out of the traditional medicine box.”

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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