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5 Skills Medical Students Need For The Future

If you’re a medical student trying to prepare for the future of medicine, here are 5 skills that you’re going to need to stay ahead of the curve. 
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

1)  Patient design
For decades, the medical community has left the single most important player out of every major decision regarding healthcare: the patient. 

Medical students and doctors should understand and embrace the idea that the patient is at the center of our universe. No matter whether it’s about developing a new drug, designing a new treatment path, or shaping the blueprint of a brand new hospital building, patients should be involved in the highest level of decision-making. Even the FDA has a patient engagement advisory board!    

2) Lead the way in digital health
Credibility is crucial. As a doctor, you cannot say to a patient to live a healthier life when you smoke like a chimney and sit in front of the TV with snacks every night. Medical students, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals should try health apps, fitness trackers, and wearables themselves to understand and be able to recommend them to patients.       

3) Be at home in the digital jungle
The necessity for digital literacy is evident. Knowing how to search for, find, and assess information is key. The use of online media, even Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin gives me wings for doing my job. With their help, I can always stay on top of the current trends and innovations. 

But social media can also be an active part of our job as a medical professional.
In the case of rare diseases and medical mysteries, specialized forums can be incredibly useful to solve the puzzles.    

There are no boundaries anymore to hold us back from taking the extra mile.    And with the rise of empowered patients, we also have a duty to meet them halfway. 

4) Focus on soft skills
No matter how A.I. will progress in the future, there’s always going to be a need for a  human touch. Especially for patients who might feel lost and vulnerable.       

As technologies advance and gain a bigger role in healthcare, simply paying attention and turning to patients with compassion will become an increasingly valuable asset. Chatbots, smart algorithms and other technologies will probably make a lot of human contact unnecessary, but they will create a world where visiting a human doctor might even be more expensive than technology.      

5.) Improving cognitive capabilities
I cannot stress enough the importance of the constant improvement of cognitive capabilities. According to new research, complex problem solving and critical thinking will be the most required skills on the job market.    

And while A.I. might help us out with diagnostics, the one thing where we will always be able to stay relevant in the future of healthcare is our ability to take all the available information and come up with a creative solution on how to heal patients. 

The takeaway from all this is that we can’t stop the impending technological revolution and we shouldn’t either. It will make healthcare infinitely better and easier. 

And the medical profession will definitely change but we shouldn’t be afraid to lose our jobs. We simply have to adapt. We have to work on the skills that make us exceptional human beings.       

So when it comes to a battle between technology and us, we have the right upgraded skills to find our new place in healthcare where we let technologies support what we do.        

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