CHICAGO, IL – Citing new evidence that most medical questions can be answered quickly, and occasionally accurately, online, a major physician-accrediting body is considering a proposal to issue medical degrees to any member of the general public who can demonstrate proficiency with smartphone technology.
“It is simply backwards to assume we need to have an actual physician involved in medical decision making and procedures,” said Mr. Gene Aldude, CEO of the American Association of Doctors (AAD) and developer of the proposal. “Even in cases where surgical intervention is required, most idiots are capable of Googling a feasible approach to treatment. The fact is, people have been doing this for a long time. It’s the medical establishment that needs to catch up.”
The emergence of new devices, such as otoscopes, endoscopes, and cautery, that attach directly to smartphone cameras, further permit the lay public to manage their own health needs without the burden of engaging medical-school trained physicians. Apps in the pipeline that enable self-physical exam, self-phlebotomy, and self-laparoscopy further promote that process.
By offering medical degrees to non-medical-school trained people, the AAD hopes to relieve the bottleneck faced when people feel the need to talk to an actual physician.
“There simply isn’t that much gained in four years of medical school and additional postgraduate residency and fellowship training that can’t be duplicated in a few minutes of casual web browsing,” Mr. Aldude continued. “And if needed, most medical textbooks are available online. Not that we expect any of the general public to actually consult them. A superficial familiarity with science is often enough to allow people to make judgements about their own, and their family’s, best medical interests.”
Mr. Aldude also sees this move as a way of addressing economic asymmetries. “This could be a real boon for the uneducated,” he says. “Traditionally, it is difficult for them to land well-paying jobs. But everyone knows it’s easy to make money when you have an MD behind your name.”
If approved, the new measure would encourage anyone with half a brain to circumvent the traditional medical system in favor of home-grown lunacy. “I am so totes excited to be a real medical doctor or something!” said Kandi Bumpershoot, a proficient smartphone user and member of the general lay public. “I love, like, making decisions and all that. Especially when I just have to, like, ask my phone or something! Daddy and Mother are going to be super-duper proud, or something!”
Yet to be decided are recertification schedules.
“Look,” says Mr. Aldude. “This is definitely not about the massive increase in revenue we are anticipating by requiring the general public to participate in CME and maintenance of certification. Certification and recertification are entirely about making sure the medical decision makers are maintaining top-notch web-searching skills.”