Automating Expert Labor in Medicine: What are the Questions?

Daniel Menchik, University of Arizona

In this article concerning the emergence of a single robotic technology by specialist physicians, I consider the degree to which the emergence of automation in medical work raises new questions to add to the classical agendas of questions about occupations, expert, and medicine. In this case, I find that the acceptability of automation in medicine appears to vary according to factors involving doctors’ efficiency but also the well-being of the physician’s body, the range of benefits that the technology is able to offer the profession, and the nature of the national healthcare regime. By focusing on automation’s place in the social organization of expert work in medicine, the paper raises a range of new research directions for scholarship on culture, work, and organizations. These questions suggest paths for examining the degree to which developments in the automation of expert labor in medical work is tied to features of health and medicine, more general qualities observed across expert professions, or dimensions underpinning changes in advanced global capitalism.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 58. From Changes in Health Practitioners to Medical Narratives