A transcript from- Latters@USATODAY.com (March 14, 2019 Page 7A)
Recently, a dying elderly man was given his grim prognosis via a “robot” video screen. This is symptomatic of much of what is wrong with modern medicine. In the last 25 years or so, of my 43-year career as a pediatrician, I have seen and felt he progressive disengagement of doctor and patient. The most obvious offending agent is electronic medical records, which have turned most doctor visits into a farce, where the doctor spends much of his time tediously typing into a computer screen. But this video communication about someone’s impending death has taken things to a new low. Medical care is such a face-to-face discipline – so much can be learned by looking at each other when communicating. How much confidence does anyone have in a Talk-space text message therapy session, for example? It’s disappointing to see, in the twilight of my career, this devaluation of face-to-face communication.
San Jose, California
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