Normal Limits

"Chance is the very guide of life"

"In practical medicine the facts are far too few for them to enter into the calculus of probabilities... in applied medicine we are always concerned with the individual" -- S. D. Poisson

November 21, 2005

NEJM - . . . And a Diagnostic Test Was Performed (Greenwald 2005)

A correspondence from Dr. Robert A. Greenwald, describing a recent case conference during which a patient with IPEX was diagnosed by a fellow in attendance using not her clinical acumen per se but Google.

Where does this lead us? Are we physicians no longer needed? ... Even worse, the Google diagnostician might be linked to an evidence-based medicine database, so a computer could e-mail the prescription to the e-druggist with no human involvement needed. The education of house staff is morphing into computer-search techniques. Surely this is a trend to watch.

Search Google Book Search (formerly Google Print) with "IPEX immunodeficiency"...

Do we even need medical libraries? From my laptop, I can access publication quality, full color, annotated dermatology pictures, and pathology slides (and the entire BluePrint review book series)! Indeed Google Book Search turned out quite useful the other day when we admitted a patient with a strange rash.

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