50 years ago, a young woman brought her 1 year old son to the doctor. The boy had been sick and at one point he seemed to black out and his body convulsed. This frightened mother was intelligent and educated, but she had no way of accessing information about the potential conditions affecting her son. The doctor’s white coat set him apart from the nurses, medical students and from the patient as the one reliable source of information.
If you picture that same scenario today, there are some obvious differences. Today when the woman comes in she is holding a device that can access all of the information that was taught in medical school and much more (or the little boy is playing Angry Birds on it).
How has the doctor’s role changed? Are doctor’s changing how they practice as a result of this fundamental shift in access to information?