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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 29Art and Science

The more questioningly we ponder the essence of technology, the more mysterious the essence of art becomes.

—Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, 1977

Not long ago, I gave a talk to a group of UCSF medical students. I chose to focus on the transformation of healthcare: changes in the payment system, public reporting, the structure of hospitals and clinics, the engagement and empowerment of patients, and, yes, the technology. Of course, it’s the older doctors who are most troubled by the changes (a few years ago, one of my senior colleagues, a respected cardiologist, said, “It could be worse… . I could be younger”). Nevertheless, I thought the students should be prepared to enter a profession that has ...

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