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The Realities of Studying and Practicing Medicine

Hey everyone, the surgical interest association (Surgia) from Griffith University medicine is hosting zoom information night on different surgical specialties. Called “Pathways to Surgery”
It’s a free online event and multiple surgeons from different specialties will be giving an overview what a day in the life of a surgeon is like, CV tips and tricks for students and what training programs is like.

It’s aimed to aspiring med students / med students so I thought this might be relevant to us 😂

Plus we can ask the surgeons themselves questions.

Part 1 will have
- Dermatologist
- Ophthalmologist
Part 2
- Orthopaedic surgeon
- Plastic surgeon
- Ophthalmologist
Here are the links to the FB events so u can register if u want:

Part 1
Pathways to Surgery - Part 1 of 4

Part 2
Pathways to Surgery - Part 2 of 4
 
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Hey everyone, the surgical interest association (Surgia) from Griffith University medicine is hosting zoom information night on different surgical specialties. Called “Pathways to Surgery”





It’s a free online event and multiple surgeons from different specialties will be giving an overview what a day in the life of a surgeon is like, CV tips and tricks for students and what training programs is like.





It’s aimed to aspiring med students / med students so I thought this might be relevant to us 😂





Plus we can ask the surgeons themselves questions.





Part 1 will have


- Dermatologist


- Ophthalmologist





Part 2


- Orthopaedic surgeon


- Plastic surgeon


- Ophthalmolgoist





Here are the links to the FB events so u can register if u want:





Part 1


Pathways to Surgery - Part 1 of 4





Part 2


Pathways to Surgery - Part 2 of 4
Thank you for the links 😊
 
Your results pretty much guarantee you a place at UTAS (no interview so the socially awkward and lacking passion parts are irrelevant). BUT... they’re only made irrelevant for a Med place offer, they are definitely NOT irrelevant for whether you should pursue Med as a career option.

That said, it’s entirely reasonable to not know what you really want to do at the end of year 12, and if you get into Med and want to give it a try above other things that you’re also not sure about, that’s perfectly legitimate. You may find you love it, you may find it’s really not for you, neither of those outcomes is the end of the world, and other options will remain open to you should you change your mind at some point.

People may point out the difficulties with Med training positions and things like that (relating to your “a job’s a job” comment), but to be honest, there is some degree of uncertainty and lots of competition in pretty much all professions so Med it not particularly unique in that sense.

Best of luck with your decision making and congrats on your great results.
Even if you look upon it as just a 'job', as long as you conscientiously do your work and gain satisfaction from a job well done, it is not a drawback. Look at this way, it is practically recession proof, you need not do any unpaid 'internship' to get a job, you get paid overtime (lawyers do not) and the public hospital working environment is pretty well regulated to prevent the worse of bullying and unreasonable working conditions , the same cannot be said for the mostly private law and accounting firms. There are so many areas of medicine that you can practice there is a place for almost everyone.
 
Even if you look upon it as just a 'job', as long as you conscientiously do your work and gain satisfaction from a job well done, it is not a drawback. Look at this way, it is practically recession proof, you need not do any unpaid 'internship' to get a job, you get paid overtime (lawyers do not) and the public hospital working environment is pretty well regulated to prevent the worse of bullying and unreasonable working conditions , the same cannot be said for the mostly private law and accounting firms. There are so many areas of medicine that you can practice there is a place for almost everyone.

Given we are in a realities of studying and practicing medicine thread, I probably should address this.

The job is heavily recession proof in terms of maintaining a job, but is absolutely not recession proof in terms of inflation payscale adjustments. Queensland recently went to battle for our MOCA 6 enterprise bargaining agreement and ultimately still ended up getting a paycut when all the maths is sorted out as our cost of living adjustment + CPI adjustment capped out at ~6%.

Arguably, the final years of medical school are an unpaid internship.

Overtime is heavily job / unit / hospital / state and country specific. There are currently class action lawsuits in progress in NSW and Victoria regarding unpaid overtime and it certainly isn't a given that you will be paid even if you make a lot of noise.

The public health system is terribly regulated when it comes to bullying and working conditions. Yes, there are plenty of presentations and mandatory training sessions about zero tolerance for bullying but find me one health district or state guideline that actually states (beyond report to your line manager) what you need to do in a practical sense if you observe someone being bullied or are being bullied. Every registrar and above that I know can tell you a story about someone who remains employed in the health service despite being an overt bully as they are impossible to remove once they have permanency. Again, there are numerous hospitals that have been and are being investigated by Fair Work or who have lost specialty training accreditation because of bullying.

Similarly - and my favourite - there are very few other professional jobs where the entire junior workforce is upended every 6-12 months to move locations across/between state etc.
 
Could you explain what you mean about not too passionate about medicine? Are you unsure of whether to pursue it?
I agree, study and practising Medicine is hard enough and very stressful. You should not do it if you are not passionate about it.

Given we are in a realities of studying and practicing medicine thread, I probably should address this.

The job is heavily recession proof in terms of maintaining a job, but is absolutely not recession proof in terms of inflation payscale adjustments. Queensland recently went to battle for our MOCA 6 enterprise bargaining agreement and ultimately still ended up getting a paycut when all the maths is sorted out as our cost of living adjustment + CPI adjustment capped out at ~6%.

Arguably, the final years of medical school are an unpaid internship.

Overtime is heavily job / unit / hospital / state and country specific. There are currently class action lawsuits in progress in NSW and Victoria regarding unpaid overtime and it certainly isn't a given that you will be paid even if you make a lot of noise.

The public health system is terribly regulated when it comes to bullying and working conditions. Yes, there are plenty of presentations and mandatory training sessions about zero tolerance for bullying but find me one health district or state guideline that actually states (beyond report to your line manager) what you need to do in a practical sense if you observe someone being bullied or are being bullied. Every registrar and above that I know can tell you a story about someone who remains employed in the health service despite being an overt bully as they are impossible to remove once they have permanency. Again, there are numerous hospitals that have been and are being investigated by Fair Work or who have lost specialty training accreditation because of bullying.

Similarly - and my favourite - there are very few other professional jobs where the entire junior workforce is upended every 6-12 months to move locations across/between state etc.
I think you are over generalising. The vast majority of junior doctors are not being bullied. There is way more incidences of bullying in Law and Accounting private firms to which you have no recourse and no one to complain to. The vast vast majority of junior doctors are being paid for their overtime for which payment does not even exist in most jobs in the private sector (overtime is plentiful but not paid) so please do not speak in such sweeping terms. You are creating a misperception. Only doctors in training for a specialty need to move and thus it is by no means mandatory to move every 6 to 12 months. It is quite easy to move between different hospitals in a given state (without having to resign or lose out on your leave and entitlements) so if don't like your working conditions you can apply elsewhere. In fact, the federal government is trying to create end to end training in rural areas so that doctors will need to move less. For example if you are doing GP training, it is not necessary to leave even rural towns at all. Internship, RMO years can be done at the hospital then you can work in GP practices in town and you are done. Very specialised training eg pathology, neurosurgery only in big cities so not much travelling either unless you chose to move.

GP is oversubscribed in terms of the number of people attempting to specialise in it. It is far from easy.
Huge shortage of GPs especially in rural areas, even the outskirts of big cities. How much you earn will depend on how much time and effort you want to spend on it.
 
I think you are over generalising.

If you re-read my comment you might notice that I actually am quite careful not to over-generalize. I completely avoided discussing the comparison between private enterprise and health and instead brought up only things that I have first hand experience with. To be honest, I don't really care if there is a significant difference between medicine and other jobs -- medicine is my job and there are problems with it that need to be addressed, which is what this thread is about.

The reason this thread exists is to highlight those issues and give them room to be discussed, predominantly because this forum (and many places where young people discuss joining the medical profession) are often dominated by positivity about getting into medicine and the "passion" required to do it.

If you are interested, the AMA has a yearly Hospital Health Check which documents some of these issues - though the response rates have varied across the years.

The Queensland one is linked below and other states are available if you have a look around.

The vast majority of junior doctors are not being bullied. There is way more incidences of bullying in Law and Accounting private firms to which you have no recourse and no one to complain to.

You are correct, the majority of junior doctors are not being bullied. However, I don't really care about the majority - I care whether it is happening at all and from an on-the-ground perspective what can be done about it when it does happen. As someone who has been bullied and has tried to run through the system to solve that issue, I can adamantly say that reporting and acting on bullying is not a safe prospect.

A well functioning "zero tolerance" policy does not fit with the AMA 2022 survey data of 10% having experienced, 17% having witnessed, 75% concerned about negative outcomes of reporting and only 38% of reported incidents appropriately addressed.

I do not know about the rates in other professions and I don't think the comparison would be particularly helpful because even if things were substantially worse in XYZ job I am absolutely not okay with the current rates and the current process of dealing with these issues.

Only doctors in training for a specialty need to move and thus it is by no means mandatory to move every 6 to 12 months. It is quite easy to move between different hospitals in a given state (without having to resign or lose out on your leave and entitlements) so if don't like your working conditions you can apply elsewhere. In fact, the federal government is trying to create end to end training in rural areas so that doctors will need to move less.

You are correct again, it is quite easy to move between hospitals in the same state - so easy that I have been forced to move every year for the last 7 years, sometimes twice in one year. Many of the training programs have requirements that are unable to be satifised in a single HHS (especially for Queensland) which means moving across the state continuously throughout your training.

In order to get onto training many jobs require rotations within the field / substantial numbers of varied referees / rural and regional jobs which in the current competitive job market leads to a requirement to move around in order to get onto training. Coming back to the AMA report, only 43% felt that their preferences for clinical rotations were taken into account.

On a larger scale, all junior doctors in Queensland are on temporary contracts that are renewed yearly and require you to re-apply every year. Applications open in May - June and contracts aren't released until typically November. For the most part, residents who re-apply to their same health service at the same level are typically given another job but this isn't always the case and again is absolutely not guaranteed. This is a source of constant yearly stress for myself and my partner - will we both get a job in the same city? Will we have to spend more time doing distance? Am I going to be sent to a hospital that I don't want to go to? Can I find a rental in that city? All of which occurs over the October - December period with jobs sometimes being hundreds or even thousands of kilometres apart.

Taking it even further, you are employed by a HHS in Queensland rather than a specific hospital which can mean that your actual workplace is - in some cases - >1hr drive away from where you thought you applied for. As an example, it is not uncommon to be employed by Sunshine Coast HHS and then find out a few weeks before you move to Sunshine Coast that you are actually spending 3 months in Gympie. Similarly, RBWH in Brisbane may send you to Rockhampton or Bundaberg with relatively little notice or choice on your side.

Getting a rental when you live in the city and can go inspect a property is one thing, trying to convince a real estate agent to lease a rental to you when you can't physically come to the city is another altogether - many Queensland REA's literally refuse to consider your application (Ray White) unless you have seen the property in person.

Adding to this, moving costs in Queensland are variably covered by health services depending on their own personal interpretation of HR Policy D4 (https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/164072/qh-pol-245.pdf). Specifically, most health services interpret the end of your temporary contract on the first Friday of February the be a termination of employment with then a new employment starting on the second Monday of February which may be the difference between being in Gold Coast HHS and Cairns HHS. This 2 day gap is enough that despite doing the same job across two different health districts and being continuously employed from a long service leave / leave entitlements perspective they are not required to cover transfer and relocation costs.

The vast vast majority of junior doctors are being paid for their overtime for which payment does not even exist in most jobs in the private sector (overtime is plentiful but not paid) so please do not speak in such sweeping terms. You are creating a misperception.

Again, I did not generalize this at all and I think you are misreading my comments. I very clearly noted that overtime is "job / unit / hospital / state and country specific". The AMA report documents paid and unpaid overtime rates - whether or not those are acceptable is your own opinion, I personally think that unpaid work of any kind is unacceptable.

Queensland has made in-roads on this front with the recent MOCA 6 providing clear guidance on what kind of overtime does and doesn't need approval to be paid but this still does not tackle the issue of concern about negative impacts from claiming or being explicity told not to claim because it will impact your references that are essential to career progression.

For example if you are doing GP training, it is not necessary to leave even rural towns at all. Internship, RMO years can be done at the hospital then you can work in GP practices in town and you are done. Very specialised training eg pathology, neurosurgery only in big cities so not much travelling either unless you chose to move.

Again, you are the one generalizing here. In Queensland GP training is mostly network based and you are allocated into an area based on the network you apply into - southern zone, northern zone etc. The map of potential QLD positions is linked below and doesn't necessarily mean you move somewhere once and stay there forever.

Moving between cities and jobs yearly in order to progress your career is common to many of the training pathways - physicians, surgeons, emergency, GP, anaesthetics - and in some cases is specifically described in the training requirements. It is probably essential to get exposure / I can understand the requirement but that doesn't change the fact that it is a significant challenge moving your life every 12 months on short notice.
 
If you re-read my comment you might notice that I actually am quite careful not to over-generalize. I completely avoided discussing the comparison between private enterprise and health and instead brought up only things that I have first hand experience with. To be honest, I don't really care if there is a significant difference between medicine and other jobs -- medicine is my job and there are problems with it that need to be addressed, which is what this thread is about.

The reason this thread exists is to highlight those issues and give them room to be discussed, predominantly because this forum (and many places where young people discuss joining the medical profession) are often dominated by positivity about getting into medicine and the "passion" required to do it.

If you are interested, the AMA has a yearly Hospital Health Check which documents some of these issues - though the response rates have varied across the years.

The Queensland one is linked below and other states are available if you have a look around.



You are correct, the majority of junior doctors are not being bullied. However, I don't really care about the majority - I care whether it is happening at all and from an on-the-ground perspective what can be done about it when it does happen. As someone who has been bullied and has tried to run through the system to solve that issue, I can adamantly say that reporting and acting on bullying is not a safe prospect.

A well functioning "zero tolerance" policy does not fit with the AMA 2022 survey data of 10% having experienced, 17% having witnessed, 75% concerned about negative outcomes of reporting and only 38% of reported incidents appropriately addressed.

I do not know about the rates in other professions and I don't think the comparison would be particularly helpful because even if things were substantially worse in XYZ job I am absolutely not okay with the current rates and the current process of dealing with these issues.



You are correct again, it is quite easy to move between hospitals in the same state - so easy that I have been forced to move every year for the last 7 years, sometimes twice in one year. Many of the training programs have requirements that are unable to be satifised in a single HHS (especially for Queensland) which means moving across the state continuously throughout your training.

In order to get onto training many jobs require rotations within the field / substantial numbers of varied referees / rural and regional jobs which in the current competitive job market leads to a requirement to move around in order to get onto training. Coming back to the AMA report, only 43% felt that their preferences for clinical rotations were taken into account.

On a larger scale, all junior doctors in Queensland are on temporary contracts that are renewed yearly and require you to re-apply every year. Applications open in May - June and contracts aren't released until typically November. For the most part, residents who re-apply to their same health service at the same level are typically given another job but this isn't always the case and again is absolutely not guaranteed. This is a source of constant yearly stress for myself and my partner - will we both get a job in the same city? Will we have to spend more time doing distance? Am I going to be sent to a hospital that I don't want to go to? Can I find a rental in that city? All of which occurs over the October - December period with jobs sometimes being hundreds or even thousands of kilometres apart.

Taking it even further, you are employed by a HHS in Queensland rather than a specific hospital which can mean that your actual workplace is - in some cases - >1hr drive away from where you thought you applied for. As an example, it is not uncommon to be employed by Sunshine Coast HHS and then find out a few weeks before you move to Sunshine Coast that you are actually spending 3 months in Gympie. Similarly, RBWH in Brisbane may send you to Rockhampton or Bundaberg with relatively little notice or choice on your side.

Getting a rental when you live in the city and can go inspect a property is one thing, trying to convince a real estate agent to lease a rental to you when you can't physically come to the city is another altogether - many Queensland REA's literally refuse to consider your application (Ray White) unless you have seen the property in person.

Adding to this, moving costs in Queensland are variably covered by health services depending on their own personal interpretation of HR Policy D4 (https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/164072/qh-pol-245.pdf). Specifically, most health services interpret the end of your temporary contract on the first Friday of February the be a termination of employment with then a new employment starting on the second Monday of February which may be the difference between being in Gold Coast HHS and Cairns HHS. This 2 day gap is enough that despite doing the same job across two different health districts and being continuously employed from a long service leave / leave entitlements perspective they are not required to cover transfer and relocation costs.



Again, I did not generalize this at all and I think you are misreading my comments. I very clearly noted that overtime is "job / unit / hospital / state and country specific". The AMA report documents paid and unpaid overtime rates - whether or not those are acceptable is your own opinion, I personally think that unpaid work of any kind is unacceptable.

Queensland has made in-roads on this front with the recent MOCA 6 providing clear guidance on what kind of overtime does and doesn't need approval to be paid but this still does not tackle the issue of concern about negative impacts from claiming or being explicity told not to claim because it will impact your references that are essential to career progression.



Again, you are the one generalizing here. In Queensland GP training is mostly network based and you are allocated into an area based on the network you apply into - southern zone, northern zone etc. The map of potential QLD positions is linked below and doesn't necessarily mean you move somewhere once and stay there forever.

Moving between cities and jobs yearly in order to progress your career is common to many of the training pathways - physicians, surgeons, emergency, GP, anaesthetics - and in some cases is specifically described in the training requirements. It is probably essential to get exposure / I can understand the requirement but that doesn't change the fact that it is a significant challenge moving your life every 12 months on short notice.
Yes, I acknowledge that life is not easy for the junior doctors particularly those who aspire to train in competitive disciplines. It is a fact that training positions have not kept pace with medical student enrollment. Medical school has gotten longer and longer to benefit the bottom line of universities and the time taken to get into training has also increased such that many will have families to consider. The competition for precious training spots has also been exacerbated by the entry of IMGs employed to fill junior doctor vacancies in rural areas.

Thus this discussion thread is of vital importance to current medical students as it is necessary to be aware of all the difficulties they will have to navigate if they decide to pursue higher training. Anticpation and preparation is all. While anything worthwhile doing is not going to be easy, there is no doubt that colleges do not go out of their way to make life easy and perhaps they could do more. Many a student think that entering medical school is the culmination of many years of study and do not realise that it is just the start of a long and difficult journey that will test their endurance and determination.

What would you have done if you weren't a doctor? What alternatives? There are NO workplaces that are free of discrimination and bullying, unpaid overtime etc. At least the medical profession acknowledges this and provides for avenues to address this issue. As to moving around, you will have more choices once you have completed your training but most other professions either require travel as part of their working life eg mining engineers, project engineers moving from one project to another or do not have the kind of recession proof/ pandemic proof stability of employment.
 
Medical school has gotten longer and longer
Since I got into medicine 7 years ago, and likely back more years before that, I don't recall any med schools making their course longer.

If you meant the graduate-entry schools' 7 years it's to give another opportunity to those who didn't get in from high school. The med schools actually shorten the course to 4 years.

... to benefit the bottom line of universities
This^ is a poorly mistaken perception.

From this publication > https://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/ah12151
"The cost of medical education provided by the university, including infrastructure costs was $56,000 per student per year in 2010. An additional $34,000 worth of teaching per student per year was provided by teachers not paid by the university."

That was in 2010, now it's like $70,000/year (without counting the unpaid teaching by hospital Consultants). The uni gets $12,000 HECS from the student plus ~$28,000 gov funding = $40,000 , they have to subsidise $30,000 each a year. It's not in their bottom-line interest to make the course longer.

I understand what you're writing about. But let's not be so negative on the universities. Myself I feel a deep sense of gratitude to the university for having taught/subsidised me to being in a valued profession today.
 
Since I got into medicine 7 years ago, and likely back more years before that, I don't recall any med schools making their course longer.

If you meant the graduate-entry schools' 7 years it's to give another opportunity to those who didn't get in from high school. The med schools actually shorten the course to 4 years.


This^ is a poorly mistaken perception.

From this publication > https://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/ah12151
"The cost of medical education provided by the university, including infrastructure costs was $56,000 per student per year in 2010. An additional $34,000 worth of teaching per student per year was provided by teachers not paid by the university."

That was in 2010, now it's like $70,000/year (without counting the unpaid teaching by hospital Consultants). The uni gets $12,000 HECS from the student plus ~$28,000 gov funding = $40,000 , they have to subsidise $30,000 each a year. It's not in their bottom-line interest to make the course longer.

I understand what you're writing about. But let's not be so negative on the universities. Myself I feel a deep sense of gratitude to the university for having taught/subsidised me to being in a valued profession today.
In the UK and other parts of the Commonwealth, Medicine is an undergraduate degree lasting 5 years. I do not see a British grad some how inferior to an Australian. Medicine is primarily an apprenticeship and more time working in the wards will bring on more experience and hands on experience. This is the unfortunate effect of trying to emulate the United States which has a long undergraduate period but where this is made up for post graduate as they go straight into specialist training. Australia just managed to get stuck with the worst of both worlds. The post graduate track should be available for those who couldn't get in first time or who change careers in midlife but the majority of places should be an undergraduate 5 or 6 years (JCU, UWSyd). Such courses do exist but are getting fewer and fewer. The lengthened course adds to student debt without providing commensurate benefit, opportunity costs to earnings, personal costs interms of relationships. Add that on to the prolonged training track 10 to 15 years and most will be mid thirties, jaded and bitter by the time they finish training and post fellowship training.

While it is not in the interest of Universities to make medical school longer, it allows them to enrol foreign students who are willing to paid a lot for the privilege of studying medicine. Universities however benefit from the longer 'first degree programme' they make students do and which is delivered en masse, mostly on line as cheaply as possible using contract staff.
 

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VIC

Am I right that basically the internship will be done in the state where medical school locates?
You can do internship anywhere in Australia however interns are classed in Queensland but allocations are by ballot.
Guaranteed offer graduates
Group AMedical graduates of Queensland universities who are Australian or New Zealand citizens, or Australian permanent residents; and:
  • are seeking an internship commencing in the year immediately following graduation; or
  • have received Review Committee approval from a previous campaign to defer commencement of internship.
Not Guaranteed offer graduates
Group BMedical graduates of Australian (interstate) or New Zealand universities who are Australian or New Zealand citizens, or Australian permanent residents; or

Medical graduates of Queensland universities who are Australian or New Zealand citizens, or Australian permanent residents who do not meet the criteria outlined in group A.
Group CMedical graduates of Australian (Queensland or interstate) or New Zealand universities who are not Australian or New Zealand citizens, or Australian permanent residents who:
  • currently hold a visa that allows them to work in Australia; or
  • will need to obtain a visa to work in Australia.
Group DMedical graduates of Australian university campuses outside of Australia accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC); or
Medical graduates of international universities who have not completed an internship in Australia or another country and have either:
  • obtained the AMC Certificate; or
  • successfully completed the AMC MCQ (multiple choice questionnaire).

What I mean is that for Qld grads, your grades do not matter unlike Victoria.
It also means that interstate students will be less likely to get a place at Royal Brisbane and Princess Alexandra hospitals which are routinely oversubscribed. However, most regional hospitals will be under subscribed and you will easily get a place ahead of Monash Malaysian and other international medical graduates.
 
I'm a current Med student in my 30s so can't comment personally on the after University part, but I work in Allied Health and a doctor I work very closely with did Medicine in his 30s (after an early career in politics!) and absolutely encouraged me to apply despite my age, saying he had no problems whatsoever, despite his age and the fact that he was married with children. This was a number of years ago, and the fact that he is, well, a he, possibly played a role in the ease with which child-rearing continued to occur, so that's useful to note.

Regardless, this is going to be the sort of thing that varies from person to person, but I suspect that is also the case for everyone, not just those over 30. Hopefully someone else can weigh in, but I'm not actually sure we have many currently active members who are practicing doctors AND who graduated in their 30s, so you might be out of luck on this forum (at least, for first hand experiences).
I think a lot of the issues faced by mature students lie in their partners. If they have a stay at home partner or no kids or a partner that doesn't mind moving, or one that can easily move (eg nurse etc). It will make a huge difference, particularly one that comes from a rural are which would be a bonus. Also an adventurous spirit can't be beat. In my junior doctor days, moving around different departments meant huge growth and lots of stimulation and learning. If you wanted a 9-5 job, work in an office or factory, you can do the same thing over and over. That would be my idea of hell on earth particularly when I was younger. Yes, there is stress especially when you are learning the new ropes in the first month then it becomes less so and more learning takes place.
 
Have you seen any glimpses for the redundancies/inefficiencies in healthcare to be cut out by tech in the future through your working career? It would be cool to hear how advancements might have changed things :)
AI is already in use in helping to screen imaging eg read mammograms in the States for over 20 years. Screening mammograms are supposed to be "read" by two radiologists. In order to save money and also due to a shortage of radiologists, the first read is done by a computer programme and the second verified by a human.

Already, computers are engaged in many ways to try to help minimise human errors. The incoming electronic medical records system will flag duplication of tests eg two similar blood tests done within a 24 h period, flag critical lab results, flag drug interactions in prescription. There is even a trial of an AI who will 'listen' in on consults, take notes and come up with differential diagnosis.

However, in all cases, humans firstly want to hear from another human. How would you like to hear bad news from an AI that you have cancer or that you loved one is terminal and should be placed on the Care of the Dying pathway?

Secondly, who is going to be held responsible if there is an error? The company that makes AI? It would make business sense to insist that a human be ultimately responsible just as in 'self-driving' programmes so far. Perhaps that day will come but not anytime soon.
 

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