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March 1991

Computerization of Medicine: A Double-Edged Sword

Author Affiliations

Houston, Tex

Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(3):320. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080030022016

To the Editor.  —The article by Paton1 in the issue of the Archives concerning computerization in medicine is most timely. Paton is correct in identifying the mass availability of information as the most significant change in the coming years. The physician will assume the role of leader of a health care team, with paramedical assistants performing more of the hands-on patient evaluation with the help of computers to pinpoint the diagnosis and suggest therapy. Physicians therefore will evolve into two basic types: super surgeons and administrators. What Paton did not allude to in his rosy projections for the future is that the vast majority of ophthalmologists are not currently either super surgeons or administrators.For ophthalmologists to avoid either underemployment or total unemployment in the 21st century, they must either seek further training in management and administration, hack through the competitive jungle of private practice surgery and achieve a

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