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Robotic surgery and docto's use of technology in general

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by MacGyver, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned Banned

    Aug 8, 2001
    Do any of your surgical programs use robotic implementations for surgery?

    I have read about some surgeons using it. It seems like the surgeons are trying to imply like they designed it or perfected it or something.

    In reality, all they do is purchase these prefabricated robotic systems from biomed companies. Strange how these surgeons are trying to steal credit for things that they really havent done.

    All the docs are doing is just learning how to use equipment that engineers design, yet if you read those articles they make it sound like the surgeons are pioneers or something. The people who designed it (whom are not MDs by the way) are the true pioneers.

    All the surgeons are doing is learning how to use equipment that other people designed, built and tested. Its important stuff, but too often the real innovators are left out of the limelight.

    This same thing is true for telemedicine. The doctors arent designing the systems, they are just hiring outside companies to set it up and maintain it. They dont know squat about how fiber optics technology works, but at all these academic programs they want us to believe that they are some kind of technology guru, when in reality they understand almost nothing about the technology.
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  3. mr_sparkle

    mr_sparkle Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2001
    NY, NY
    You got it. Although, the surgeons are innovative for adapting the tools into a useful surgical procedure.
  4. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned Banned

    Aug 8, 2001
    Yes I give them credit for applying that technology on real human surgeries.

    But lets face it, its 99% harder to design such a system than it is to simply use it in surgery. All the really hard work for the surgeon has already been done.
  5. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
    Practical applications for these technologies @ this point are not in the near future with the exception of perhaps robotic assisted cardiac surgery done off bypass. Everything else can pretty be much done by human hands in a practical sense at the present time with no advance (the way I see it) with the extra precision afford by the robot. It is a solution for a problem that does not exist....
  6. Barton

    Barton Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    yeah. And those damn surgeons are always stealing thunder from that dude who invented the scalpel and the tube. What a bunch of charlatans!
  7. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned Banned

    Aug 8, 2001
    A scalpel is a far, far cry from a robotic surgical system.

    My point is that the doctors using these high technology gadgets are not special. You could take that robotic surgery system to any doctor in the country and that doctor could learn to use it just as well.

    Just USING pre-existing technology is not much of a extra-special thing. These docs are NOT pushing state of the art technology, they are just using technology that other people developed.

    If you suddenly removed all engineers from the world, do you REALLY think that doctors would have all these fancy toys they have now for this type of thing? Absolutely not.

    Its far, far easier to use these technological things on patients than it is to actually DESIGN them. I guarantee you the engineers that designed the robotic surgery system could operate it just as well as the doc, if not better. So just because the doc uses it in surgery is not that special of a thing, but yet you hear these trumped up announcements, such as "Dr. X is a pioneer in robotic surgery" What a joke.
  8. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    SF, CA
    Learning to use to robotic tool at least takes some skill and ability. How hard is to to look in a database to prescribe a pharmaceutical? Medicine would be no where without biomed and pharma companies, yet physicians seem to be the first to bash the big pharmas, and the first to take credit when "the doctor's" treatment worked.
  9. Very Very Bad...

    I dont like argument, yaaar!

    MacGywer...Tell me, do you take credit for this post? Why dont you accept that engineers built the computer for you!

    What line of work are you in? Im sure you rely on technology also.

    Tele-medicine? How can you possibly attack tele-medicine? Its basically a sooper-ddoper phone with a doctor on one end and a film or a case history on the other!

    If you think so much of these engineers, then go become one.
    I am sure that surgeons give credit to the manufacturers of good equpment. You obviously dont know much abot robotic surgery..its not just some conveyor belt that you feed the patient into, and then recieve at the other side. Even if this were the case, I am sure "anyone" would not be able to do it. Sure, macgywer,, you may be able to turn machine on...but can you decide WHICH patients to use the machine on?

    Why dont you criticize CT, MRI, and say that radiology is a job that "anyone can do" How about my job...Microscope...I did not invent..but when i see something..I IWLL take credit.

    Your arguments are wery bad, and show little logic, as I saw in your "60 minutes" posts
  10. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned Banned

    Aug 8, 2001
    Matter of fact, I AM an engineer so I think I know a little more about the technology than you do.

    I give doctors credit for applying these devices in hospitals with patients. However, all too often, these doctors want to be portrayed that THEY are the sole magician responsible for these technological breakthroughs.

    Truth is, 90% of the hard work has already been done for the doc who decides to use a robotic system in surgery. Sure, he has to use his medical knowledge in the surgical procedures, but the DESIGNERS of the machine also had to use a tremendous amount of medical knowledge to design the device in the first place.

    I'm not saying the doctors are worthless, but what I am saying is that they are NOT the major source of technology generation in medicine. PhDs and engineers have a lot more to do with it than doctors.

    Lets talk about MRI. Do you have any IDEA of how hard one of these machines is to design? I guarantee you a typical radiologist could not EVEN BEGIN to design one of these machines. Sure, he knows how to apply the machine and interpret the images clinically, and these are tough skills to learn. But as hard as those skills are to grasp, the expertise to DESIGN such systems FAR OUTWEIGHS the skill needed to apply these machines in a clinical setting.

    Its all about relative proportions. I am much more confident that a biomedical engineer could learn to become a radiologist and interpret images than I am that a radiologist could design one of these machines. The reason I say this is because biomed engineers have to know BOTH about medicine and engineering, whereas the radiologist only has to know medicine. Thats not saying the radiologist is a buffoon and doesnt know anything, certainly he has great expertise/knowledge.

    Sure, radiologists understand the basic physics of how these machines work, but if you put them in a lab with electrical components and said, 'build me an MRI system' they wouldnt even know where to start.
  11. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Actually, MacGyver, I should think that most of us figured you were an engineer (and a seemingly chagrined one as well) by the middle of your first post. ;)

    You might as well get over this. Who gets credit for ABS systems in cars? Not the designers (I'm assuming they were engineers), but the manufacturers. The engineers get credit when something is released, and after that the people putting the product out or using the product (as in the case of this surgical device) are the ones who get the credit.

    I think you're taking this entirely too personally. :)
  12. watto

    watto Sleek White Pantsuit 10+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Also, the term "credit" is kinda vague. I like to think that the most measurable type of credit comes via payment. And I bet the guy who designed the MRI made, and continues to make, bank.

    You can patent the machine, but I don't know that you can patent the procedure, at least in the sense that a doctor can patent his "use" of the robotic machine.

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