Dr Topol to med students: "When I was in medical school, the term "digital" was reserved for the rectal examination"

Here are some excerpts from the Baylor College of Medicine commencement address by Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, delivered yesterday, May 22, 2012. This should be a required reading for everyone involved in healthcare, which is basically everybody because each and every one of us will be a patient one day.

Eric Topol to medical students: "When I was in medical school, the term "digital" was reserved for the rectal examination."

"You sleep with your cell phone and prize it right up there with food and water. We have evolved to a new species of man. We are Homo distractus!"

The benefits of digital medicine are clear to Dr. Topol who shares the story of a patient he saw last week: "I asked him to put his fingers on the 2 sensors on the back of my iPhone case so I could do his electrocardiogram—ECG—that was normal. And free, by the way. Then instead of using a stethoscope to listen to his heart, I used a portable pocket-sized high-resolution ultrasound device and within a minute I could see every heart structure—the heart muscle thickness and function, the valves, the size of the 4 chambers. Why would I ever listen for lub-dub when I can see everything? I haven't used a stethoscope for over 2 years to listen to a patient's heart."

From Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) YouTube channel: 2012 Commencement Speaker, Dr. Eric Topol, spoke on May 21, 2012:



Here is Eric Topol's presentation at Health at Google:



References:

Baylor College of Medicine commencement address by Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute

Comments from Twitter

Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD @qdtrinh: Makes it sound cool. “@DrVes: Dr Topol to med studs: When I was in med school, the term "digital" was reserved for the rectal examination"

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