I get to class and look over my lecture slides for the day. Aside from the content, it’s the same as usual – outdated fonts, unorganized layout, blurry images. I look up, and the professor is struggling to hook up his computer to the projector, again. I sigh and consider the same question I have been pondering for so long – why are some physicians so bad with technology?
Most of it, as I understand, is a generational gap – older physicians trained at a time when computers and the Internet were not so pervasive as they are today, and many are playing catch up. But despite the enormous utility of modern tools, I feel that many physicians are still steadfast on old ways. And with Obamacare and the rapid adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs), it is even more important that doctors adapt their clinical routines and practices to accommodate new technology.
I’m reminded of an experience at preceptorship, when I observed an older doctor sit down at a computer to write up a patient note. His eyes squinting at the screen, he ineffectively clicked and typed for a few moments before calling over a younger colleague in frustration. He then dictated the note while his colleague typed, while simultaneously complaining about the new infrastructure he had to deal with. Although, dealing with the complexities of EMRs and other technology can be difficult, it is our duty as doctors to learn and adapt to them – the well being of our patients depends on it.