Web-Driven Patient Workups

An applicant from yesterday’s pool of medical school interviewees asked me what percentage of my clinical workups have relied on the Internet… and after half-a-second of contemplation, I responded with an adamant “100%!”

Medicine has always been a field of constant change; much of what we learn becomes obsolete before we move to our next milestone (residency, fellowship, etc). While I heavily rely upon the foundations I learned in basic sciences and core clinical rotations, I utilize PubMed and UpToDate for the latest protocols and research regarding a given patient’s presenting illness. This holds true for virtually every patient, especially those with prevalent chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension.

I’ve heard more traditional attendings feel that the “art of medicine” has fallen to the wayside as the digital era has consumed modern healthcare. It’s almost frowned upon if you have to look something up on the Internet. And I never understood that. The Internet provides us with an unparalleled way to share medical knowledge – if we can maintain therapeutic relationships with patients while utilizing tech-resources in an appropriate manner, we owe our patients the latest-and-greatest care.

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