Robot That Delivered Bad News is Labeled Disruptive

You may have heard the news how a California man’s family was upset after his life-threatening diagnosis was delivered to him by a robot. What you haven’t heard is that the robot itself* has been placed in a “performance improvement program”. It has also has been labeled “disruptive” by the administration because it made them look bad to the public. The robot now has to do 10 hours of robot sensitivity training before doing rounds again. Rumor also has it (per the administration) that the robot smelled like weed and an investigation has started to look into that. The robot has denied any wrongdoing but does admit to smoking some medical prescribed marijuana (legal for robots in California) due to its ongoing symptoms of burnout.

(*obviously this is not about the real story and real doctor in the news article)

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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] 

  5 comments for “Robot That Delivered Bad News is Labeled Disruptive

  1. Dawn
    March 15, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    This article was discussed in a nursing forum I also read. There are some interesting points of view. For example, it was not a new diagnosis:

    There’s the headline, and then there’s the first sentence of the article:
    “Ernest Quintana’s family knew he was dying of chronic lung disease when he was taken by ambulance to a hospital, unable to breathe.”

    Here is another:
    Without knowing all the details this sounds pretty heartless. However, we all know how family can be sometimes and maybe the MD had already been there multiple times with different family answering the same questions over and over. It was the granddaughter that was in the room so maybe the MD had already talked to the pt’s son/daughter. And the granddaughter who was distraught immediately whipped out her phone and started recording. I am not sure that would be my first thought if I was getting that horrible news for the first time. Either way sounds like it could have been handled better but we don’t know all the details.

    and one more:

    I greatly disagree that there is anything wrong with this. The patient had been told many times that his condition was very serious, and probably terminal.
    The controversy is all about the bull malarkey that surrounds inevitable death in our society, which many refuse to accept.
    The messenger is blamed.
    The doctor’s other choice was to give him false hope. With which I greatly disagree.
    We need to start talking about death a whole bunch more than we do.
    Otherwise, maybe we just don’t do any telemedicine with people who are really sick.

  2. Thomas David Guastavino
    March 12, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Not the real story but on point.

  3. R Stuart
    March 12, 2019 at 8:27 am

    From the article:

    “We use video technology as an appropriate enhancement to the care team, and a way to bring additional consultative expertise to the bedside.”

    Translation: we’re too f**king cheap to have a real, live human doctor on site for you to talk to. Deal with it.

  4. Steve O'
    March 12, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Bedside robots are disruptive – but are disruptive innovation! That’s an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.
    The old value network used to mean “giving a damn about patients.” The new network is “making the patients feel like the insensitive and impersonal processes that control their lives, give a damn.” It’s not about reality – it’s about the feelings that reality evokes in a patient. There is a new Blue Pill for that, which will be available in Medicaid For Everyone.
    All patients like new innovation, except the ones that don’t, who will be weeded out and re-educated. Whatever is New, is Better.

    • PW
      March 12, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      Physicians who don’t like the new innovation will be re-conditioned, reprogrammed or shut down.

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