The conversation with my Uber driver leaving the airport in Chicago en route to the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting
Me: “So I’m headed to the Marriott Marquis in Chicago. That’s the new one by the convention center. You have that, right?”
Uber driver: “Actually I don’t pay attention to where riders are going. I just follow this (points to phone). It tells me the directions. It’s all automatic.” He throws his head back and laughs.
I found the whole thing unsettling. But what’s worse:
- A driver with a phone who claims ignorance.
- A driver without a phone who insists he knows what he’s doing.
For most of my life I’ve worked with the latter. Increasingly I trust the former.
Of course if we laugh at this Uber driver we need to laugh at our doctors. We’re equally dependent on our tools. Bring your child in to an ER with abdominal pain and you’ll likely have a CT before a physical exam.
(Between the nervous adult ER doctor with limited pediatric experience at a small ER in Marble Falls, Texas and a CT scanner, I’ll bet on the technology.)
Increasingly technology is better than doctors are at diagnosis. Half the battle is admitting it. The other half is knowing what we do better.