New Morons On The Block

As the editor of one of the longest running medical blogs on the internet (that and $5 gets me a Starbucks coffee), I often get email PR solicitations.  I love seeing how ridiculous most of them are but this one was particularly moronic. Here is the subject line:

 Paging Dr….Chatbot? Why Dr. Chatbot might become your primary care doctor in 2017

C’mon, really?  Dr. Chatbot?  My new primary care doc?  It goes on:

The healthcare industry expects to see a paradigm shift in the coming years due to the development of chatbots and artificial intelligence which are redefining the role of a practitioner and repositioning the patient in relation to their own health, making them more in control than ever before. Patients are now able to download important product information, access support resources in real-time and manage their treatment schedule. Essentially, chatbots and AI are aiming to make healthcare great again.

This is a seismic shift in the healthcare industry which has long been scrutinized by its antiquatedness and inability to connect with consumers in a meaningful capacity leading to dissatisfaction.

If you’re interested in exploring a story on this I’d love to connect you with Joseph Ferraro, CTO of Mavens, a global consulting company that creates cloud-base solutions for pharma and life sciences companies. Joseph is keen on discussing –

  • Heathcare’s transition away from the traditional and towards immersive technology like chatbots and AI
  • What this transition means for consumers moving forward – will it work? Will consumers actually use AI and chatbots? Or is it bound to fail?
  • Some of the obstacles companies should expect if they are transitioning to chatbots/AI

Let me know if you’re interested in connecting with Joe and I can facilitate an interview via phone/email.

So, chatbots and AI is what is going to make healthcare great?  They allow more connectedness with patients?  No, dipshits, it worsens it.  And thanks for devaluing what I do as a primary care doctor while you are at it.

More technology is not the answer. To close the distance between the doctor and the patient we need to remove stupid concepts like Dr. Chatbot. And how stupid a name is that?  Reminds me of Chatty Cathy.  How about Dr. Chatty Cathy?

**Oh, so they wanted me to write a story about it.  I guess this blog entry counts.

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 – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “New Morons On The Block

  1. Steve O'
    January 31, 2017 at 8:14 am

    “repositioning the patient in relation to their own health, making them more in control than ever before.” In other words, dumping the liability entirely upon the patient. You break it you buy it, dummy.

    I’ve dabbled with a short story about unifying CGI talking heads with Dr. Chatty Cathy software. You could make a phony audiovisual Dochead that will ask the questions in a soothing voice, appear to show empathy, and never be frustrated, impatient or confrontative – things that humans are prone to do. As such things come into our future, some patients will prefer to see “Meats,” or fellow biologicals; and others prefer to see “Heads,” or CGI McWatsons that, of course, have no feelings – but they know how to inject the sensation of sympathy into their flat-screen performance. And, of course, the encounter can take as long as the patient wishes – an hour, two hours? CGI Heads are not on salary.

    As long as we allow people like Joseph Ferraro – a guy with nothing to do with medicine other than the arrogance to know that everyone else sucks but Joe Ferraro – just idiots “in the healthcare industry which has long been scrutinized by its antiquatedness and inability to connect with consumers in a meaningful capacity leading to dissatisfaction.”

    How come we’ve let these healthcare idiots make things get worse for twenty, thirty, forty years? Could it be because the arrogant imbeciles who have a masters degree in Running Stuff have turned healthcare into a crummy assembly line?

    The great thing about being a pro-reform idiot is that you start off every year fresh and new. If 2016 sucked for healthcare, it’s because it was being run by the “old guard” – it just needs a fresh new look! Like in politics, every dismal and guaranteed failure is blamed on the left-over antiquatedness of those dopey ol’ docs.

    This message – just stale bulls_it – is unchanging because IT IS THE PRODUCT that they are selling. New-and-worse is preferable to old-and-better, comrade. That’s the song that has to be sold, to turn your health into a paying income for The Medical Industry, so they can achieve the status of an investment sector of the Dow Jones.

    “Will your next neurosurgeon work for Wal-Mart?” “Will your next kidney transplant be done by the lowest bidder?” “How can we make YOUR death, YOUR fault?” These are the questions for the future. Remember, Dr. Chatbot loves you with all her heart.

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