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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 9Can Computers Replace the Physician’s Brain?

Any doctor who could be replaced by a computer should be.

—Warner Slack, Harvard informatics expert

One of my favorite (albeit disorienting) days in researching this book occurred on April 29, 2014, when I interviewed two brilliant, immensely successful 59-year-old Indian Americans, one after the other. The first, physician-author Abraham Verghese, emphasized the essential role of the doctor in both diagnosis and counseling. A few minutes with the charming and persuasive Verghese is enough to convince anyone that the practice of medicine is an utterly human enterprise.

I left Verghese at his Stanford office and drove two miles to the opulent headquarters of Vinod Khosla, a cofounder of Sun ...

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