Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize medicine — for the better

August 10, 2023

Girl in lab coat with gloves on typing on a futuristic hologram of the human body

In a world where technology is growing rapidly, would people rather have medical professionals break bad news or artificial intelligence?

At the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac, professors are working to make sense of this complex question for their students’ success.

“People matter and they want to know and feel like they matter — especially in difficult conversations," said Dr. Rahul Anand, an associate professor of medical sciences. "One has to be thoughtful about the humanistic aspect of communication. We operate in an atmosphere of trust and professionalism.”

Anand believes that every physician’s primary goal, whether using AI or not, must be ensuring that their patients are receiving the best and most thoughtful care available.

On one hand, there are positives to the explanations that AI offers, such as using simpler terms and being consistent across patients, he said.

These are directly correlated to some of the challenges physicians face across medical fields, such as using complex medical terminology, not wanting to tell someone bad news and facing exhaustion toward the end of their shifts.

“If healthcare professionals use technology to improve the simplicity of their communication or to save them time drafting an explanation, to instead spend that time building trusting relationships and taking better care of patients, then this use of AI is creative and useful,” said Anand.

Teaching in this unique era of artificial intelligence in the healthcare field has also proved to be challenging, said Anand.

With many professors come many differing opinions on technology, yet Anand believes that language-model-based artificial intelligence websites do provide opportunities to make learning better if utilized effectively and efficiently.

“I would advocate for a culture of learning where we expect and lean into the messiness of adapting technology and aspire to be at the cutting edge of implementing AI, both in learning and at work, to make human lives better,” said Anand.

Anand aims to instill in all his students the knowledge and understanding that patients are human and deserve the best available care, no matter where AI ends up taking the field in the future.

If providing the best care possible means using AI to complement the practices of medical professionals, he said, then it’s important to teach students the best ways to use it.

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