Physicians still needed for diagnosing difficult patients

by Dr. Alan Kadish NMD

You might be tempted to say that this was a loaded test to “prove” you still need a physician. Maybe but…..the key is in the details. If you recognize the necessity to juggle multiple inputs that can segway to loads of other paths when you’re considering your disorder, you easily appreciate why the human brain is still the “winner”. No wonder the docs were better by a 2:1 ration

Will this change over time, probably when we get to the real deeper learning level of artificial intelligence ? I’m guessing that we are probably 2-3 years out on the next “contest” resulting in different winners. 

If this sounds like the computer trying to beat the chess or go player, you’re absolutely on the mark. You need to have context, which allows the physician to fill in the missing information that’s needed to be integrated when progressing towards a diagnosis. Very much similar to thinking of the potential moves your opponent would make, a few steps ahead.

What’s needed more than anything else will also be more selective and sensitive testing means and methods to get more facts for a computerized system to digest (pun intended). The changes in technology are literally unbelievable when you understand how much more we know about the body, daily.

At the Center of Health we focus on using a balance between the computer and newest technologies, together with good old common sense and thought. There is nothing that can substitute for a good history and physical coupled with a thinking doc. 🙂  

Want a better experience and optimized health ?  Call us at the Center of Health 541.773.3191

Study: Physicians vastly outperform online symptom checkers

19 Oct 16
US Professional News
RSi Communications

In a head-to-head comparison, physicians outperformed computerized symptom checkers by a margin of more than 2 to 1, according to the results of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in October.

The study authors pitted 230 human physicians against a set of 23 symptom-checker apps and found that physicians outperformed the symptom checkers even when these computerized systems were given three chances to arrive at the correct diagnosis.

Notably, the online symptom checkers were more likely to correctly diagnose simple conditions, but struggled when more complex medical issues were at play.

Although symptom checker apps may fail patients more often that a visit to the doctor’s office would, these apps may still serve patients by allowing them to learn about their symptoms after being correctly diagnosed by a physician.


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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.