Changing Role of Physicians in 21st Century Healthcare

Adam Tabriz, MD
Sep 13, 2018 · 4 min read
Image for post
Image for post

The role of doctors has been typical in their profession and they used their skills to treat patients. The doctor patient relationship was one of the most fundamental aspects which stood the test of time. But many forces in the 21st Century are looking to disrupt the relationship and change the roles of doctors.

The paramount among them is the technological advances which have integrated themselves with the healthcare industry such as artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors, Internet of Things, 3D printing, material science, big data and analytics, real-time social networking and increasing number of apps that are giving rise to humongous data clouds. The developments have made on historian to call the 21st Century as the age of “dataism.”

But Physicians are not happy!

Every initiative follows a top-down approach and bound to come out with unsatisfactory results. This has led to may startups and profit seeking companies deliver halfway developed products to earn quick money. The future seems to be risky as the technologies such as artificial intelligence are advancing by leaps and bounds and promising to be beneficial for healthcare, even though they are not the right fit.

Have we landed in a situation where wrong protocols, wrong algorithm and wrong technology make the doctor responsible?

This is a consequence of system negligence and going to cost doctors in the long run. The role of doctors as an individual, entity and society as a whole is changing. We have to face various difficulties and challenges that have to be overcome to deliver accurate treatment. We have to adapt, change and pivot and then retreat and challenge in order to be efficient and productive. All these changes have to be implemented in our daily lives in order to emerge as successful.

Medicine is a Similar Field

For example, the development of business software in the banking sector requires involvement of financial experts from strategies, accountants and chief financial officer. Only then the software will be suited for the purpose of the specific industry and prove to be successful.

This trend is always been in practice and will stay same in the future. Technological changes today is happening faster than before, with the aim to account for changing needs. As a result, changes are implemented way faster and some industries aren’t able to keep pace with it. The trend will give rise to a situation where a vacuum will be created by the untimely implementation of technology without the oversight of industry experts. Such technology remains open to vulnerability and misuse and will provide room for errors.

We have experienced the same in the past!

Technology has to be developed under the Oversight of Industry Experts

Governments have to make sure that physicians and healthcare community is involved in the development of technology so that they can be validated and used successfully. For technologies such as artificial intelligence, there needs to be algorithm transparency and compliance with standard of care and privacy. Doctors need to be taught how to work with the technologies and handle the artificial intelligence machines.

The government also needs to ensure accountability. It is unfair to introduce unilateral mandates for physicians and healthcare providers without first creating a transparent process to account for technology and development- it will be unfair to the doctors, caregivers and the patients. Instead, all parties need to be kept in the loop, so that they can work in synchronization. It just helps in achieving better healthcare practices.

We have had enough of buzzwords relating to electronic health records, artificial intelligence and machine learning. We hear that in future healthcare will be taken over by corporates who have access to every detail of the patient; but there is inadequate means to ensure the standard of care and compliance with medical delivery.

The changes have to be implemented at local and state level and should account for state government agencies such as health and human services and medical boards. The practice of independent physicians should also be integrated with the changes and it should take help of technology to gather feedback continuously from the healthcare community for quality assurance.

Physicians have to be trained so that their understanding of the basic technologies can be improved that are constantly in the phase of evolving. The process should start in the medical schools so that the doctors become adept in handling the technologies right from the beginning of their practice.

The skill of the doctors have to be harmonized and directed in the right path for creating the right tool that will help domains like healthcare. Only then the physicians will be able to use them to achieve positive outcomes and help their patients in the right way. We have to account for the decisions and judgments of the stakeholders of healthcare community so that the technologies can be used in the most optimal way.

Data Driven Investor

empowering you with data, knowledge, and expertise

Sign up for DDIntel

By Data Driven Investor

In each issue we share the best stories from the Data-Driven Investor's expert community. Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Adam Tabriz, MD

Written by

“Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

Data Driven Investor

empowering you with data, knowledge, and expertise

Adam Tabriz, MD

Written by

“Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

Data Driven Investor

empowering you with data, knowledge, and expertise

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store