January 2011

The Doctor vs The Computer

While I’ve been typing, the character number has been counting backward from 1,000, and now I’ve hit zero. The computer will not permit me to say anything more about my patient.

Patient 1, Society 0

A young, healthy patient called me recently requesting a CT scan of his head because of his headaches. He described his symptoms, and they sounded to me like migraines. His clinical picture was not suggestive of a brain tumor and I told him so, but he was persistent. “What if I’m the one 35-year-old who drops dead of a brain tumor while you try to figure out what’s wrong?” he asked. More

Books by Danielle Ofri