Home » Medical expert warns using AI tools to replace doctor patient interactions will risk negatively impacting patients

Medical expert warns using AI tools to replace doctor patient interactions will risk negatively impacting patients

by Tech Reporter
21st Jun 23 2:03 pm

Leading Medical Communication Skills Trainer and Creator of Doctors Interpersonal Skills 360, Jo Murphy has been a leading communication skills specialist for medical professionals for over 15 years, having helped train over 1,000 NHS doctors and medical trainers in interpersonal skills to help support vital communication with colleagues and patients, ensuring they can manage and react correctly to challenging medical scenarios.

She is accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK.

Having worked as a freelance specialist within the NHS, she is aware of a significant skill gap across the organisation as thousands of overworked and time-poor UK and International NHS GP and hospital speciality trainees often lack advanced training in Interpersonal Skills. Whilst appreciating that the NHS is exploring all possible angles of AI, Jo feels that there are significant dangers inherent in the growing trend towards the introduction of AI technology to, potentially, manage and automate certain interactions with patients which might further impact authentic communication.

Jo Murphy, founder of The Doctors Interpersonal Skills 360, commented, “I’ve coached hundreds of trainee doctors and trainers for the NHS, and I’ve seen first-hand how important doctor-patient interactions are, especially in person. I’ve observed that telephone and video calls already tend to present trainee doctors with steep interpersonal skills challenges and the potential use of AI to manage these complex interactions is hugely concerning.”

AI advancements are already changing how we interact, but humans need humans and ill humans need their human doctors even more. AI should be utilised to help with simple admin-related tasks giving doctors more time to interact with patients. The UK already offers less consultation time for patients than the vast majority of other countries and technology should be helping to improve this situation – not replace it.”

Patients and medical professionals alike are responding with a very mixed set of reactions to potential new developments in AI and understandably for many time-poor doctors any tool that can help manage their workload could offer some pros such as collating patient records and other time-consuming clerical work.

The current range of skills required and expected from doctors is multi-faceted yet many still lack fundamental training in more advanced communication skills and outsourcing even the most basic patient interactions to AI could potentially, Jo feels, have serious implications for many vulnerable people in the UK.

To help both GP and hospital trainee doctors, Jo has moved her course, The Doctors Interpersonal Skills 360, online to enable more medical trainees both in the UK and internationally to benefit from her vast experience through 12 easy-to-follow video modules.

The career-advancing course in communication skills for International & UK medical trainees helps establish a more rounded professional persona through detailed practical work on facial expression, physicality, voice and gesture in relation to telephone, video calls and face-to-face consultations with exam success and the trainee’s ongoing career in mind.

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