👨‍💻 Doctors That Code: Dr Tony Girgis⚕️

You heard it here first, Doctors can, and will code, with an increasing number becoming programmers, developers and coders.

doctology is pumped to bring you the first ever feature in our new series "Doctors That Code".

Get to know Dr Tony Girgis.

Medical Specialty:

General / Family Practice.

Current Job(s):

GP Registrar at GP Synergy and Surgical Assistant at The Private - Wollongong Specialist Medical Suites (specifically with the Da Vinci robots).

Why do you think Doctors make good coders/developers/programmers?:

That's a fascinating question and perhaps a couple of decades before it's time, since doctors are notoriously tech averse in the current setting, not to mention the art of medicine is deeply traditional, consequently slowing advancement.

Otherwise, doctors (medical and non-medical) are curious and resourceful, picking up the skills and languages necessary to solve an identified problem and, most importantly, meaningfully engage in multidisciplinary teams. Industry has observed medical doctors to be naturally risk-averse and admirably employed outside their field of practice in politics/business/consulting/manufacturing/expedition planning/space programs; and the list continues.

These qualities make a good problem finder and problem solver. They do not make a doctor to be a “good” coder/developer/programmer in 2020. This narrative will change when computer programming becomes a primary and secondary school necessity, a second language if you will, and then the future of medical technology will be more interesting.

What interests you about tech?:

Depends what you mean by tech. "Tech", to me, means any advancement in our tools to solve our problems not necessarily limited to those involving electrons whizzing about in silicon chips.

But what interests me is problem solving. That drew me to engineering in my early career, choosing a medium that did involve electrons whizzing about in silicon chips was by virtue of their novelty. Computers were the new hammers and we had only begun to discover what our imagination could will them to execute.

Computers built the new hammer of artificial intelligence, now starting to bear spectacular fruit, that not only identifies solutions, but new problems as well. For all of time, tech has always been about alleviating personal suffering. The hope for the future is that tech eases global suffering.

Which parts of healthcare do you think will be the most impacted by healthtech post 2020?:

All of it! There is not a facet of healthcare that could not do with a keen engineering eye for an elegant solution, and that includes the current state of health technology.

Fundamentally, this all begins with building a solid foundation and there is a lot of groundwork being laid developing healthcare-specific protocols for data management/security/processing.

No doubt AI will feature heavily at the coalface and beyond, as systems pick up on patterns of disease, ease resource pressures, and discover organic solutions to our organic problems.

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