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March 2014

Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Medicine?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(3):191. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.6465

“Doctor, you may not want to hear this, but computers will ultimately replace the work of physicians.” This was an unexpected comment from a very bright, albeit somewhat brash, third-year medical student with an impressive engineering background beginning his surgical rotation in my outpatient clinic. The student was assigned to shadow me for the day, seeing patients in our voice and swallowing disorders clinic. Despite the fact that we were using an electronic medical health record with the ability to access patient data and review radiology images instantly on the computer screen, the student dismissed this as a rudimentary information technology system. Our diagnostic equipment included high-definition video chip technology coupled with a high-intensity stroboscopic light source with the ability to archive the data on the computer.

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