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Vol. 19 No. 1 (2021)

Deconstructing Canada’s efforts to integrate artificial intelligence in medicine and medical education

March 9, 2021


Artificial intelligence (AI) has gained momentum in the last decade in various professional domains, but its usage remains scarce in the field of medicine. Available AI-enhanced devices are not integrated in a consistent fashion throughout Canadian health facilities, and current medical practitioners and students are not well prepared for AI’s impact on their careers. Undergraduate medical students lack fundamental knowledge of AI in medicine, from its impact on patient care and its potential as an adjunct decision-making tool, to the general fundamentals of how AI-enhanced devices work. Currently, postgraduates don’t have access to AI-enhanced devices; this could potentially limit their understanding of how these devices might affect their future clinical practice. Canadian medical universities can play a critical role in familiarizing students with these new devices. Incorporating new topics into the already heavily charged medical curricula may be challenging, but students could make use of extracurricular activities to learn the concept of AI and strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration. Educational institutions would also need to propose policies for the safe and ethical use of devices in classrooms or internships. However, they might require guidance to draft new policies targeting AI in medical education. Canadian medical associations could take the lead to draft AI policies in healthcare to guide the equal and safe implementation of AI-enhanced devices across the Canadian medical community. Our paper will explore the work that has been done related to AI-specific policies in healthcare, focusing on Canada, and provide key points that could be used to organize future policies.


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