What it Means to Care: Ethical medicine in the age of tech


In this episode of “Technically Human,” I give my mic over to two guest hosts, David Geitner and Roman Rosser, to interview Dr. Robert Pearl about the intersection between tech, medicine, and our health. Dr. Pearl answers questions about the way that technologies are radically reshaping health care; the hosts ask questions about bias in medicine; and the group discusses the ways in which our current system fails to treat us, well, well.

Dr. Robert Pearl is the former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group (1999-2017), the nation’s largest medical group, and former president of The Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (2009-2017). In these roles he led 10,000 physicians, 38,000 staff and was responsible for the nationally recognized medical care of 5 million Kaiser Permanente members on the west and east coasts. Named one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 most influential physician leaders, Pearl is an advocate for the power of integrated, prepaid, technologically advanced and physician-led healthcare delivery.

He serves as a clinical professor of plastic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and is on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on strategy and leadership, and lectures on information technology and health care policy.

He is the author of Mistreated: Why We think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong, a Washington Post bestseller that offers a roadmap for transforming American healthcare. His new book, Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors & Patients is available now. All proceeds from these books go to Doctors Without Borders. 

Dr. Pearl hosts the popular podcasts “Fixing Healthcare and Coronavirus: The Truth. He publishes a newsletter with over 12,000 subscribers called  HYPERLINK “https://robertpearlmd.com/newsletter/” Monthly Musings on American Healthcare and is a regular contributor to Forbes. He has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNBC, NPR, and in TIME, USA Today and Bloomberg News. He has published more than 100 articles in medical journals and contributed to numerous books. A frequent keynote speaker at healthcare and medical technology conferences. Pearl has addressed the Commonwealth Club, the World Healthcare Congress, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Quality Forum and the National Committee for Quality Improvement (NCQA).

Board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Pearl received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, followed by a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University. From 2012 to 2017, Pearl served as chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), which includes the nation’s largest and best multispecialty medical groups, and participated in the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT in Washington, D.C.

David Geitner is a third year Biological Sciences major and Frost Scholar at California Polytechnic State University. He grew up in Yuba City California where he learned to love science, sports, community service, and the outdoors. He works in an on-campus research lab working with protein phosphomimetics for protein-to-protein interactions. David aspires to be a dentist as quality dental care is a necessity for society. David hopes to go into the military as a dentist and provide a service to his country. 

Roman Rosser is a student studying Aerospace Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He recently joined the PROVE team which is building a long distance electric car. Roman hopes to work on designing or building new vehicles and has a particular passion for orbital rockets. His hobbies include lifting, backpacking, surfing and reading.

A special thank you to David Geitner and Roman Rosser for hosting this week’s episode, and to Dr. Pearl for joining us for the show. We’ll be back next week with another episode of the “22 Lessons in Ethical Technology special series,” so stay tuned! You can find more information about the 22 Lessons series and the Technically Human Podcast, on our website, www.etcalpoly.org. 

And don’t forget to subscribe to the show! You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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