Medical schools will soon be thinking twice on how to prepare future physicians in a world of e-patients and awesome medical technology. In the process, there will be lots of things that will be sacrificed. One of these things is the relationship between patient and medical and healthcare professionals. There will be over reliance on technology, so much so, that sometimes the patient can no longer talk and discuss matters with his doctor.
Re-thinking Medical Curriculum in the midst of Medical Technology
- Patient-centered – Modern gadgets and devices now take the place of performing a good physical examination. Everything is taken down on a machine. The focus is more on the information rather than on the patient. The physical diagnostic course should be enhanced as it is a crucial part of the medical curriculum. Students should be taught the importance of touching and talking to the patients. There should be more practice on real patients with real physical abnormalities. True, with digital technology there will be no more sloppy records as everything is taken down by a machine. However machines cannot take down the patient’s physical appearance and the pain he is going through. Patients cannot build relationship with machines. They need human beings like themselves.
- Laboratory-centered – Modern technology revolutionized how medicine and related courses were taught and practised. With gadgets and devices physicians no longer need expertise or discriminative thought. In fact, they don’t need to see the patient before ordering laboratory tests. Focusing on laboratory takes away the core of doctoring and that is humanism. Over reliance on modern medical technology cripples the use of physician’s minds and his sensory faculties on make diagnosis. Again over reliance on gadgets and devices sacrifices patient-doctor relationship. It eliminates the individuality of patient care. As a result, trainees may be over exposed to technological training and as a result his clinical skill may deteriorate.
- Doctor-centered – The new period of medical education is now focused on the comfort of a doctor in training. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education believes that depriving a trainee of sleep and physical fatigue will lead to harmful medical errors. They want to protect the patient by ordering stricter work-hours across the training programs. Because of this mandate the trainee has to extend training period. It has a negative effect on the healthcare givers as well as the doctors and patients. It discourages hard work, a characteristic of the medical profession.