Paging Dr. Luddite

27 05 2009
Luddites destroying a loom

Luddites destroying a loom

There have been a couple blog posts floating around the inter-tubes recently (like this one from C|Net News) concerning the digitalization of health care and the transition to EMR’s.  Some of them, however, have taken an interesting tack, pointing out that doctors, as a whole, are ‘luddites’.

What’s a luddite?  Well, according to wikipedia:

Luddite (n.): [1]A group of early 19th century English textile workers who destroyed machinery because it would harm their livelihood.
[2] (by extension) Someone who opposes technological change.

Really?  Are we that bad?
Unfortunately, we might be… 

First, granted- not everyone is technologically savvy, and granted that many doctors work well beyond the usual tenure of retirement, and those folks are less likely to be adept at mousing and typing, but in four years of medical school and two years of residency, I have definitely noticed that my peers, people in their mid-twenties and early thirties, are surprisingly lost when it comes to technology! 

Now, I want to be clear that I am not attempting to pontificate, but even in comparing my coworkers to my friends in other fields, it seems that my coworkers are less digitally adept.  Perhaps they have been more involved in other things, perhaps being up to date with technological trends is not a priority for them, but I am not sure how far you can stretch these explanations in the field of medicine.  There is no denying that now is a time of change in the field of medicine and that the field is going digital one way or another.  So it is becoming more and more imperative every day for doctors to possess some kind of basic computer literacy.

Hopefully we as a field will see the inevitable trajectory of our field and adapt accordingly, otherwise we could be in for quite a bumpy ride!




One response

27 07 2010
Doctors Overwhelmingly Choose iPhone Over Blackberry « The 1x Objective

[…] while I might have guessed that most MD’s are quite tech savvy at one point in my life, I’ve since found that not to be true.  They probably mirror that of the general public more closely than most people assume, and as […]

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