There are many reasons why the costs of delivering simple, uncomplicated health care in this country keep increasing while quality lags and value fails to keep pace with that of most major industrialized countries. But as a surgeon, I have a one-word answer for all that is wrong with health care: “robots.” Surgical robots, costing an estimated 1.2 to 2.5 million dollars each with matching maintenance fees of $125,000 per year, ...

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I know a surgeon who, when consulted about a child with appendicitis, will insist that a CT scan of the abdomen be performed before he will see the patient. It doesn’t matter that the history and physical exam fit the diagnosis perfectly. It doesn’t matter that the child has already undergone an ultrasound of the appendix that shows it is dilated and inflamed. It doesn’t matter that the radiologist has ...

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