Could computers do the work of GPs?
It was once suggested to me that computers would soon make GPs redundant.
A person would simply need to enter their symptoms into a computer and an accurate and helpful diagnosis would be generated.
The following two cases from my practice illustrate how clinical medicine is usually a little more complex.
Lewis Chow, a fit and active 44-year-old, presents with a one-day history of right-sided abdominal pain and anorexia, but no vomiting. His bowel motions have been loose. He is afebrile, and has localised tenderness (with no rebound) in the lower right abdomen, a few centimetres above McBurney's point. There is no flank pain, and urinalysis is unremarkable.
Given his uncharacteristic and sudden loss of appetite and his focal abdominal tenderness, Lewis is referred for an abdominal CT scan. This shows right colonic diverticulitis, with a single perforated