When someone suffers from a serious medical problem, they generally see an expert. Hopefully, the doctor has extensive experience at a top hospital. A nice bedside manner helps, but doesn’t always happen.
Personally, I’d like to see my veterinarian. She’s extremely competent, has an outstanding bedside manner and offers a treat whether or not you’ve been good. Unfortunately, she’s not licensed to practice on the human animal.
The future is going to see something entirely different.
NASA has introduced Robonaut 2 – a humanoid robot who’s studying to be a doctor.
R-2 (as I like to call him) lives on the International Space Station. At this point, R-2 carries out a variety of mundane tasks in addition to catching rolls of duct tape. But it won’t be long before he’s performing intricate medical procedures including surgery.
Why someone would travel all the way to the Space Station for surgery is a little beyond me. Maybe there will be a sort of prestige to say “I’m going to be off work for a while. I have to go to the International Space Station to have a quadruple bypass. The Mayo Clinic just wouldn’t do.”
I hope Dr. R-2 will be programmed with a good bedside manner. I’d be more comfortable trusting my life to a robot if he was nice to me. I would also take comfort in the fact that if he couldn’t stitch me up, he was good with duct tape.
May the farce be with you!