Some of us have been expecting physicians to move en masse to use that wonderful beast of burden—the computer—for several decades.1 But, with each new wave of exciting hardware, glitzy software, and mass promotion, physicians en masse have instead shunned routine personal use of computers in their education and practice.
Of course, for decades physicians' offices and hospitals have used computers for scheduling and billing, their libraries for MEDLINE searches, their clinical laboratories for reporting laboratory results, and their imaging centers for advanced diagnosis with great success. And a number of physicians— mostly at large centers or as part of specialized professional groups like the American Medical Informatics Association— indeed are pushing the edge of the envelope when it comes to computer applications.
Yet, personal direct computer use for medical purposes by hundreds of thousands of US physicians has lagged badly behind the capability of the systems and technology.
Chi-Lum BI, Lundberg GD, Silberg WM. Physicians Accessing the Internet, the PAI ProjectAn Educational Initiative. JAMA. 1996;275(17):1361-1362. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530410075038