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ARTICLE |

The First Five Minutes

Robert H. Moser, MD
JAMA. 1975;231(11):1169-1170. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240230043023.
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ABSTRACT

Something is slipping away. Something vital, close to the core, is being eroded. Communication with patients—the heart of medicine, the essence of our art—is in peril from several aspects. In the past I have spoken of my fear of computers and my uneasiness about the integration of paramedical personnel into the practice of medicine. Let us ruminate each in turn.

I acknowledge the virtue of the computer as a gatherer and caretaker of lifelong medical records. At first glance, how can one deprecate such a marvelous capability: to have the entire medical history of a patient from birth until this moment—as near as a computer terminal in your office!

But I am worried. If I can punch the proper buttons and receive the information from the monster's bowels—who else can do it? What is to prevent anyone with access to the same buttons from also getting this extraordinarily personal information?

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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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