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The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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Chapter 20OpenNotes

Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.

—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)

In a 1996 episode of the iconic TV comedy Seinfeld, the character Elaine Benes, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, sneaks a peek at her paper chart while waiting for her physician, Dr. Stern, to enter the room to examine her rash. Alighting on a note from a prior visit, Elaine sees that the doctor had described her as “difficult.” She becomes fixated on talking Stern into purging the insult from her medical record. After a few minutes, Stern chuckles dismissively and agrees to “erase” the offending word, vigorously ...

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