Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where Medicine and Aviation Meet

From Cory Franklin, MD in today's Chicago Tribune:
The tragic tale of Flight 447 should not only be a case study in aviation but also in medicine. Medicine is becoming less of a hands-on science and more dependent on sophisticated tests and high-tech scans. As in aviation, there is an overall benefit; diagnosis and treatment are better than ever. But the same problem bedevils medicine, perhaps more commonly — in difficult situations, inexperienced doctors are often uncertain of how to interpret sophisticated information presented to them, resulting in incorrect diagnoses or inappropriate treatment.
Read the whole thing.



Tim Hulsey, MD said...

I'm sure this will get no media traction, because it makes too much sense! It also means that experienced physicians are an asset for something other than absorbing liability. Then we would have value. Then, we couldn't be replaced by Watson!
Nah!! That doesn't fit the plan.

Anonymous said...

1) Have you ever seen a pilot declare an emergency than proceed to taxi and takeoff? It's not called an emergency room for nothing.

2) Every 'plane' will eventually crash and burn even if everything is done right.

3) No one knows the exact best way to fly the 'plane'. There are plenty of experts who are willing to study 10% of flight rules than tell you that it applies to the other 90% as well.

4) Pilots are guaranteed 12 hours off between shifts. Have you ever seen a pilot yanked out of bed and thrown to the helm of a crashing plane?

5) All 'planes' have annuals where every damaged part is replaced and scheduled maintenance is required.

6) I will agree that the lawyers will circle like vultures at the end.

Tim Hulsey, MD said...

Anonymous said, "6) I will agree that the lawyers will circle like vultures at the end."
Somehow that seems to be part of everything from drinking coffee to walking your dog. They have to have something to do, though. They graduate 15,000 new lawyers a year while only 7,000 retire.

Health Guy said...

Nicely explained the relationship between aviation and medicine. Your comment is truer in Western nations where doctors do not have adequate clinical knowledge, as they totally depend on the sophisticated tests for diagnosis, unlike in developing countries, where doctors has to depend on clinical knowledge.