AI is changing specialty medicine. Are you ready?

Royal College Staff
September 17, 2019 | Author: Royal College Staff

“Early predictions about automation said that it would replace things that are more lower-level like data entry and pattern recognition in research databases, not high-skills jobs,” says Brian Hodges, MD, PhD, FRCPC, executive vice-president of education and chief medical officer at the University Health Network in Toronto.

“What’s very interesting about the abilities of artificial intelligence [AI] and deep learning is that they actually touch on things that specialist physicians do. This is really interesting because it means that we have to think about adapting our training and continuing education to help people prepare for expanded or different scopes of practice.”

Brian Hodges, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Brian Hodges, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Watch the 2019 Professor-in-Residence lecture

Dr. Hodges visited the Royal College in June as the organization’s second Professor-in-Residence. This program was launched in 2018 to support knowledge exchange, and to advance specialty medical education and health systems scholarship and research in Canada.

Dr. Hodges, a self-proclaimed “non-expert” on AI but whose interest and research on the topic has made him an in-demand speaker on the crossroads of AI and medicine, concedes, “AI is a topic that is widely spoken about and very poorly understood.”

His lecture titled, “The Future with AI: What will we need (human) specialists for?” was delivered on June 19, 2019. In it, he emphasizes how real people in his hospital are living and working with AI. He also suggests how specialists can prepare themselves for changes spurred by AI and deep learning.

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