Medical life in the future will be a series of real-time upgrades. We will all be endless newbies.
That bears repeating. All of us—every one of us—will be endless newbies in the future simply trying to keep up. Here’s why: First, most of the important technologies that will dominate life 30 years from now have not yet been invented, so naturally you’ll be a newbie to them. Second, because the new technology requires endless upgrades, you will remain in the newbie state. Third, because the cycle of obsolescence is accelerating (the average lifespan of a phone app is a mere 30 days!), you won’t have time to master anything before it is displaced, so you will remain in the newbie mode forever. Endless Newbie is the new default for everyone, no matter your age or experience.
Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable – Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, 2017 Penguin Books
This is where medical education falls short. We still insist that medical students memorize and recite 20th century lists.
But medicine is advancing faster than any Dean or credentialing body can keep up. So to be a doctor in the future will require plasticity and capacity to adapt. It will require a mindset and process of ongoing, real-time medical education that’s hard to understand, let alone plan for.
This year’s medical school graduates will be medicine’s endless newbies. Good luck.
If you like this post you’ll probably like our MD Future Archive. It’s all the writing on the site that deals with the future of the doctor. Every 33 charts post has tags at the very bottom. These tags will help you find related writing. Happy reading!
The link to The Inevitable is an Amazon affiliate link. This means I draw a small amount of revenue when users click through and purchase the book. Photo modified from Allessio Ferretti on Unsplash.