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Dr. Crawford on benefits and challenges with the use of AI in urology

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"I think it may provide better care. What has been shown though, with some things, is that it can make mistakes and tries to cover them up, and that can be a problem also," says E. David Crawford, MD.

In this video, E. David Crawford, MD, touches on the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in urology as well as reasons for urologists to be wary of its use during an interview at the 2023 LUGPA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Crawford is a professor of urology at the University of California, San Diego.

Video Transcript:

AI has not totally replaced the physician or anything yet. There's always there's the learning part of it; there's no question. I think you need to embrace it [as] a positive way where it does help. There have been some presentations on having the patient, before they see you, come in, [and] there's a set of questions that they read, and then they answer it, and the AI can put together the whole note. [It can record] the history of the present illness and delve down into deeper levels that might add more time for the patient to answer. I think it may provide better care. What has been shown though, with some things, is that it can make mistakes and tries to cover them up, and that can be a problem also. So, we're not losing the physician completely.

As a matter of fact, I think that one of the things is that it may provide better care and care for more patients. And urology is in real trouble with the number of urologists out there that are retiring. With the older population and the needs, there's a dire shortage of urologists. Then the other thing is burnout. Urologists have a high level of that, and they have one of the highest levels of all specialties. I don't know why, but they do. One of the explanations is the urologists, we have a lot of tools and ability to treat diseases and things that get rid of kidney stones with sound waves and robots and a lot of great drugs and things like that, and no one's ever given me the real reason for the burnout, but I think some of it has to do with [being] overwhelmed when you see patients with a medical record in the EMR about collecting all this data. Getting in there [and] typing it in there so you can get billed and your hospital can bill and everything else like that. So, that's taken a lot of time away from you actually looking at the patient, talking to them, and thinking. If you use [AI] in a positive way like that, it gives you more chance to size up the patient. I mean a lot of us feel and I feel after many years, I can size somebody up and listen to him, look at him, and you can sort of see what their demeanor is, what direction they're going, how healthy they are. That's the art of medicine. AI can do that, but it makes mistakes. We all make mistakes, but maybe you can put 2 and 2 together and make 5 here and instead of 4 or 3.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

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