Dr. Gene Dorio | AI: Is it Ready for Surgery?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Undeniably, artificial intelligence will play a phenomenal role in moving society forward. AI, as with many advances like the automobile and antibiotics, will impact how humans enhance natural abilities to live and prosper in our environment.

Within the medical profession, it will aid health care professionals in making disease diagnoses, and provide better treatment options in the future.

Can AI take the place of doctors? Some physicians fear the clock is ticking.

Could we one day have robots doing surgery on patients, or diagnose illness without visiting a doctor? Yep, as we already provide robotic procedures, and have Google on PCs at home.

Are they 100% correct? Nope, but neither are doctors.

Yet robots, like pilots, need to have backup. What if it doesn’t recognize a nerve, and cutting through it results in paralysis? Yikes! Recent attempts to develop self-driving AI cars still lead to pedestrians and bike riders being run over. 

Some of the questions I have always asked my patients are, where were you born; are you married; how many children do you have; did you serve in the military; and what kind of work do you do? 

Nowadays, these questions are considered “irrelevant information” and are not a part of the repertoire included on the computerized medical chart.

Often, this information has allowed me to treat my patient physically and psychologically. Can a computer analyze this “irrelevant information” and figure out the role it might play in illness?

No doctor is perfect, and no computer is perfect. It won’t be until Star Trek VI in star date 2293 before we achieve artificial intelligence comparable to Dr. McCoy. 

Have no fear, my physician friends, time is with us! 

Dr. Gene Dorio


Editor’s note: Perhaps doctors, indeed, do have time on their sides. Do editors? Just for fun, I used an AI tool to write the headline for this letter. Uh-oh.

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