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Commentary |

Desktop Medicine

Jason Karlawish, MD
JAMA. 2010;304(18):2061-2062. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1624.
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Concepts of disease are essential for defining medicine. By the 20th century, the dominant concept was pathology in an individual, the foundation for the bedside model of medicine. Bedside medicine organizes the patient-physician relationship around the chief concern, which guides the focus of the history taking and physical examination; medical training that emphasizes laboratory-based sciences and a physical diagnosis; and a bedside presentation.

Today, however, a new model has emerged: desktop medicine. This term describes how a desk with a networked computer is transforming medical science and, in turn, medical practice. The desktop is the space in which researchers discover risk factor–based diseases and where physicians and patients go to gain information to diagnose and treat diseases. In developed nations, desktop diseases such as dyslipemia occupy a substantial portion of a physician's practice, are leading causes of morbidity and mortality, and have attracted the attention of policy makers. Medicare will soon require an annual personalized health risk assessment.1

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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