New Technology in the Practice of Medicine – ROJoson’s Reactions and Reflections (Thoughts, Perceptions, Opinions and Recommendations) at 70
New technology are rapidly appearing, being popularized, and being marketed (and in vogue) in the community in these days and age. New technology in anything – in communication; in education; in transportation; in business transactions; in the practice of medicine; etc.
How do I react or should I say, respond to it at my current age of 70?
Reaction – AMAZING! HAVE SENSUAL PLEASURE WHEN I SEE THEM!
- SOME ARE FOR APPRECIATION ONLY EITHER AT THE MOMENT OR IN THE LONG TERM.
- SOME I HAVE TO RIDE ON BECAUSE OF FORCED CIRCUMSTANCES – NO CHOICE.
- SOME I HAVE TO USE BECAUSE OF MY PERSONAL NEED AND WANT AFTER ANALYZING THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES AND IN CONSIDERATION OF MY BEING A MINIMALIST PERSON AND PHYSICIAN AND WANTING TO SLOW DOWN IN MY TWILIGHT YEARS.
In the end, I will be guided by the following:
- WILL NOT USE THEM JUST FOR LUXURIOUS REASONS.
- WILL USE THEM AFTER WEIGHING THE USEFULNESS VS RISK VS COST VS AVAILABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF A MINIMALIST PERSON THAT I AM AND MY CRITERIA FOR CONTENTMENT IN LIFE.
- WILL USE THEM ONLY IF FORCED TO IN THE CONTEXT OF AN EXTERNAL LAW AND ORDER.
Some examples and cases in points:
Cellphone – when it appeared in the market, I was amazed by how it facilitated communication. I was forced to acquire one as practically everybody in the community use it for communication. I have to use it because of the communication being facilitated during emergencies, particularly in my continued work as a physician. I am not completely retiring yet as a physician. As a minimalist person, I have been using a smart cellphone, non-fancy and not high-end, that suit my essential needs. I am currently using this Samsung cellphone with a monthly P399 plan (unlimited text; 20-minute call limit; and 3000 MB of data) for more than 3 years now.
Car – there are a lot of new models of cars in the market which I classify as luxury and non-luxury cars. I am amazed and have sensual pleasure when I see the luxury cars. However, I do not buy them because I don’t need and want them. I only need a car for my daily transportation in my work. I don’t need a luxury car for this purpose. Any car will do as long I can reach my destination efficiently and safely. As a minimalist person, I have been using a Lancer box-type 1987-model car for more than 30 years in before I gave it up in 2018. Now, I am using a Toyota Altis, 2003 model, bought second-hand in 2006.
Internet – Blogs – Facebook and Webpages – when it appeared, I was amazed by how it facilitated information gathering and dissemination. I was forced to use it because of my need to keep abreast of information, particularly in medicine, and disseminate my teaching and advocacies. I eventually got to blog (web log) in free websites (Tripod.com, WordPress.com, and Google Sites) and use the Facebook because of my Educational for Health Development in the Philippines program in which I like to reach out to as many Filipinos as possible. As a minimalist person, I have been using free websites and applications to host my online communication, teaching and advocacies since 1989.
Cameras – before the advent of digital cameras, I was using analoque cameras for my medical and non-medical photography. Circa 2000, I had to give up my analoque cameras because they were being faced out in the market (together with the films) and started using digital cameras. As a minimalist person, I still use the simple, not-too-expensive (P4000) pocket digital cameras given to me by my patients. At times, I used the camera in my cellphone.
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy and Other Minimally Invasive Surgery – I am amazed by what the new laparoscopic and other minimally invasive surgery can do. The question is should I go into it and train myself to do it at my age of 70 when I have decided to slow down my surgical practice and considering I am now having on and off pain and stiffness from degenerative osteoarthritis of my hands and fingers? I have not made a final decision on this. However, my answer may be most likely NOT ANYMORE.
Here are my rationalizations.
First point of rationalization – open and laparoscopic surgeries are options for surgical management of patients. They have their corresponding benefit-risk-cost-availability advantages and disadvantages. I will let the patients decide. If they want laparoscopic surgeries, I will refer them to the surgeons who do these types of surgery. If they want open surgeries, I can and will do them. At my age, I don’t want to be in a rat race for operations anymore. I am not affected by revenue opportunity loss anymore. I will let the patients decide and I will refer and let other surgeons do the laparoscopic operations if so desired by the patients.
Second point of rationalization – this consists of the precept: “you can only do so much – you cannot do everything – you have to refer for the sake of the patient.” As a general surgeon, even if I had been trained to do a lot of different kinds of operative procedures during my residency years, after training, in private medical practice, I cannot do everything that I was trained to do. I have to refer at times and sometimes, oftentimes. Reasons: 1) subspecialists already abound in the community where I practice; honestly, they can do a better job than I do for subspecialties in general surgery; and 2) as I age and I have decided to slow down, I have chosen to delimit my scope of practice in general surgery; I have to refer those beyond my delimited scope. The precept: “you can only do so much – you cannot do everything – you have to refer for the sake of the patient” is not confined to general surgeons, but to all other subspecialists as well as to all types of physicians. General practitioners have to refer to specialists. Specialists have to refer to subspecialists. This is a standard practice in the community. I am going to use this precept to justify my not going into training in laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery anymore. I will focus and continue to refine my open surgical techniques. There are still indications for these type of operations.