Watson, Come Here, We Need You by Aaron Levine MD

The headline goes IBM’s Watson wants to fix America’s doctor shortage.  Shades of John Henry, the pile driving man (old folk song).
Some of my lamentations.
I ran a rehabilitation department for 22 years at a local hospital. I obtained Board Certification in Pain and EMG as well. I focused my private practice on the hospital and not on my own other interests. I turned down opportunities as I felt there were conflicts of interest. A little more than a year ago, I was summarily dismissed for a new graduate who is a salaried employee of the hospital. I tried to resurrect my practice over the year.  CVS rebuilt one of their stores. I have gotten e-mailings asking if I was looking for a job as a PA or NP (I presume that I am on some mailing list that lumps all health professionals together). I was in the store the other day picking up a prescription. The teenaged clerk asked if I knew that the NP was available to see me if I had any problems. I gather she did not know that I have my own MD.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – doug[email protected]

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2 Responses

  1. J.W. says:

    Heard a presentation on Watson at the California Medical Association Leadership Academy this year. Watson allows physicians to query the system in plain language and will research the entire recent medical literature to provide the answer to clinical questions in order of greatest efficacy. Physicians who tried it were enthusiastic and wanted access to this tool in their offices. Guess who bought the rights to the program from IBM? Anthem – with the intent to utilize Watson for prior authorization and utilization review. When asked if the utilization reviewers would follow Watson’s recommendations and approve therapies that might be more efficicious yet more expensive, the spokesperson had no comment ….

  2. mamadoc says:

    I never patronize any drugstore that has a “clinic,” but it would be almost worth it so I could tell said teenaged clerk “I’d rather eat dirt, thanks.”

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