Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is anachronism. I guess that would be Helen Burling Ottaway’s watercolors, since an AI can do them, and my work as a physician. The American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) wrote: “So, the AAFP looked into an AI assistant for clinical review that can “pull the data together in a problem-oriented manner and give you a snapshot of exactly what’s going on with your patient without having to search and click and find things.”

Um. Ok, I am thinking of a patient who was about to be transferred from our small hospital to a bigger one. His notes came across my desk. I called the hospitalist. No less then four physicians during the hospitalization, starting with the emergency room physician, had written that his abdomen was “flat, soft, non-tender, no masses”. What this told me was that 1. Not one of them had done an exam. 2. Not one of them had read my notes nor the surgeon’s notes. 3. The bigger hospital was going to laugh themselves silly if they did an exam. Why? He had an 8 by 8 inch enormous umbilical hernia present for 20+ years, which had not gotten fixed yet because of other medical issues.

Great. So let’s make it worse by having an AI pick out what is important from the patient record and have it make up exams, which people are too lazy to do. Physicians are too lazy to do. People, you had better read every single note your doctor or nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant writes, because you want to go on record in writing when they get it wrong. It is an absolute horror show. Read your notes, because your doctor is most likely not reading the notes from the specialists. I find it amazing, horrifying and sloppy.

I learned to paint watercolors from my mother. I am not primarily an artist, but I learned all sorts of techniques from her. We do not learn from plugging an idea into a computer. We learn from doing. And yes, it is work to learn techniques, but it is worth it!

8 thoughts on “Passe

  1. bushboy says:

    That is a worry Dr K. My medical records have that I have asthma. The locum I saw for a bad cold/flu many years ago wrote that. I have told various new Dr’s that it is crap but it is still there. Has “helped” get further up the line on occasions though 😂
    Thanks for joining in :) :)

  2. I’m sitting here with a pretty rare chronic inflammatory condition. It’s well controlled and if it gets worse there are some options. BUT what it means is that I will get sicker with a cold than I did before it showed up and sicker than some other people do because of the pre-existing and constant inflammation.

    When I have had to meet a new doc, they have to look it up. Even the ENT who worked with me in the diagnosis had never heard of it, but he was a great doc. He said “I have never seen this combination of symptoms before.” That was after an exam. “You can’t taste anything because your nose is blocked by polyps; you’re producing a lot of mucus; your ears are filled with fluid; you have asthma. I’m sending you to an allergist.” HE LOOKED AT ME. It was an allergist after 2 hours or so and a comprehensive allergy test, who figured it out — correctly it seems because the treatment they prescribed has worked.

    I hate it because docs sometimes don’t believe me but think I looked up my symptoms online and diagnosed myself. I didn’t. I hate going to the doctor. My doc here, whom I like a lot, had to look them up when I told her. I’m not sure she believes me. “Oh, here’s an old lady, lives alone, hypochondria.”

    During the height of Covid I thought, all the time about people, “You have NO idea what’s going on with that normal healthy appearing person you refuse to mask around because freedumb.”

    Sorry, I got on my rant…

  3. I once had a professor who asked what “WNL” means in a note. The eager students shouted, “Within Normal Limits!” The professor said, “No. It means We Never Looked.” I think you just verified that.

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