Surgeon-as-Patient: Tech Data May Cloud Clinical Judgment

The 24th installment of our “What’s Important” series in the JBJS Orthopaedic Forum comes from orthopaedic surgeon Jack W. Crosland. In detailing his recent experience as a patient at a prestigious university teaching hospital, Dr. Crosland declares that what’s important for physicians is “listening and reasoning.”

His thesis is that in the current health care system,  the “technology component” of clinical decision making—lab results and imaging data, for example—has become overemphasized, while reliance on information obtained from patients is underemphasized.

In his essay, Dr. Crosland says that his dual perspective as patient and surgeon further convinced him that “physicians can get more pertinent and valuable information from a thorough patient interview than from any other source.”

Dr. Crosland is not radically antitechnology, but he does conclude that “technology should be used to confirm a diagnosis or narrow the list in a differential diagnosis, but it should not be the primary resource to diagnose disease or to determine treatment modalities.”

If you would like JBJS to consider a “What’s Important” story for publication, please submit a manuscript via Editorial Manager. When asked to select an article type, please choose Orthopaedic Forum and include“What’s Important:” at the beginning of the title.

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