It’s no mystery that medical school and medicine, in general, requires quite a bit of memorization. There is no real way around this, you need a solid foundation of knowledge in order to create and manage patients. However, there are some aspects of medicine that I feel take memorization too far and can create inefficiencies.
As I’ve transitioned into fourth-year, I’ve started to notice that a lot of doctors like it when you’ve memorized the patients entire HPI and relevant labs and details. On one hand, I get that this reflects that you’ve connected with patients. However, I must say that I don’t quite understand this. We live in the 21st century where most of our patients’ information is just a keystroke away. Is it really necessary for me to have memorized whether the patient has a primary care physician or when/where they received certain surgeries? I think that instead of placing an emphasis on us memorizing this information, we should focus our energies on revising/enhancing our EMRs to better serve us in this way. Instead of having the EMR as simply a storage space for all our of information, we should be trying to use it/program it to become better data extractors and provide it to our finger tips.
Doctors already have so much on their plates, and I think all this emphasis on memorization sets us back rather than pushes us forward. I do understand that in emergent situations, sometimes the memorization does come in handy, but I’d argue that humans are more likely to make critical mistakes rather an AI that is designed for this purpose!