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March 10, 2021

Building an Artificial Intelligence–Competent Surgical Workforce

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Florida Health, Gainesville
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville
JAMA Surg. 2021;156(6):511-512. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.0045

Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important in surgical care delivery. Predictive analytic and patient phenotyping systems augment personalized patient-centered decision-making and improve care.1 Robotic surgical platforms and autonomous microrobots have the potential to change the way surgeons are trained and operations are performed.2

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    1 Comment for this article
    Artificial Intelligence-Competent Surgeons Enable An Acceleration Towards Equity In Healthcare
    Peter Shah, BSc MA FRCOphth FRCP Edin | University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
    Tyler Loftus and colleagues eloquently describe the potential benefits of developing a workforce of AI-competent surgeons. As surgeons, we are uniquely placed to anneal the languages of domain knowledge, mathematics / statistics and computer science. Achieving this fusion of language will enable us to critically evaluate and interrogate the information gathered in big data sets, and inductively and intelligently apply it to the individuals and communities that we serve.

    Such AI-competent surgeons will be able to help in enabling faster translation of clinical innovation into real-world practice. In a time when many struggle to gain access to the
    highest quality clinical decision-making, AI-competent surgeons will be able to spearhead the development of universal decision-support tools that will move us towards a more equitable clinical landscape.

    I fully support the advice that surgical teams will benefit greatly from specialist AI-competent surgeons. We stand at a point of evolution - as we embrace and adopt this paradigm shift, our patients benefit, healthcare systems grows safer and as surgeons we become stronger.