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Deborah German, MD

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The physician of the future has to, the core is the doctor patient relationship. I think anyone knows that because much of what we are dealing with now is chronic where the entire healthcare team needs to manage a patient in such a way that the patient is inspired to do what's right and that inspiration comes from relationships.

If you believe that each one of us makes our greatest contribution to mankind when we are doing the thing we love and the thing for which we have passion, I think that medical school should be a place where every student comes in with a passion and as they learn medicine, they are allowed to explore it because if I force people to become the kind of doctors that they have no passion to be, we're not going to make the problem any better.

Human are creatures of habit, and when we develop a habit and something new comes along, we have early adapters, middle and late, and that's what medicine is, and you're never going to get everybody to be an early adapter because it's human and we can hurry that along a little bit if we have a structure that encourages that, but our structure just adds burdens to the doctors.

It just adds burdens because the people creating the structure or are not aware of the unintended consequences. I mean we all have good intentions everyone in this, every aspect of healthcare. I think what one of the challenges that we all have in every discipline with technology is we love new toys and they come out, sometimes we want to play with them even though they are not better than the old way.

So we at this medical school are making our conscious effort that we only use technology where it enhances and improves what we do. Sometimes technology gets in the way of the doctor patient-relationship and we want to avoid that. The fact that knowledge is everywhere is going to disrupt this and it's going to disrupt it more slowly than it's disrupting other businesses because of the way we're structured but I'm very hopeful that that will empower the doctor-patient relationship and bring us back together where we need to be.

The thing that gives me the most hope about the future of medicine is that the students who come into medicine have the same passion for caring for people that they've always had despite the crazy system that we have.