TMA Develops New AI Education
By Alisa Pierce

Responding to significant interest from members after a 2023 standing-room-only TexMed event, the Texas Medical Association has developed a free webinar for members to learn how to integrate augmented or artificial intelligence (AI) technology, including ChatGPT, into patient care. 

“ChatGPT and AI: Ways to Integrate into Patient Care” contains information about the benefits and drawbacks of using ChatGPT or similar AI models. The webinar was created to help physicians understand how to use AI to reduce administrative burden while mitigating risk when using it in their practice. 

Upon completion of the webinar, physicians will be able to identify different types of AI systems and discuss how augmented and artificial intelligence can impact health care, including its ethical implications. Physicians can earn a maximum of 0.75 credit(s) of education in medical ethics and/or professional responsibility from completion of the webinar. 

In health care, ChatGPT and platforms like it have the potential to automate daily tasks, like generating patient records, writing letters of medical necessity, or drafting home care instructions for patients.  

In fact, AI technology has been integrated into multiple electronic health record (EHR) systems for those very tasks, including Epic, Doximity, eClinicalWorks, and Athenahealth, whose GPT-based platforms can format clinical documentation and common medical correspondence, among other assistances. 

League City family physician Priya Kalia, MD, who helped develop TMA’s new webinar, first experimented with AI as a project within TMA’s Leadership College. Dr. Kalia, who recently completed a graduate certificate program in health care AI at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says having AI education available for physicians can expedite the “learning curve” surrounding the technology.  

“Originally, the thought of using AI was daunting. But then I remembered that we use AI every day, from Amazon Alexa to Google Maps,” she said. “With anything new, there's going to be setbacks. But it just so happens, we call it ‘practicing medicine.’ We're practicing and figuring out new ways to make things better. And we can practice with AI as well.” 

However, Dr. Kalia warns the AI is still “experimental” and points to TMA’s 2022 AI policy (log in required), which emphasizes that AI should not trump a physician’s medical expertise and instead should be used as an augmented tool set. Whereas artificial intelligence uses the internet to drive its decisions, augmented intelligence is used as an enhancement aid, and defers to human knowledge to craft its responses. 

Although AI cannot replace medical training, Dr. Kalia still highlights its burden-reducing benefits. 

“For physicians, one of the most important things is forming a foundational understanding of what AI is,” Dr. Kalia said. “If you understand what it is, then you can utilize it for patient care and to make administrative tasks less burdensome.” 

For more information about CME, visit TMA’s Education Center

Last Updated On

March 10, 2024

Originally Published On

March 04, 2024

Alisa Pierce

Reporter, Division of Communications and Marketing

(512) 370-1469
Alisa Pierce

Alisa Pierce is a reporter for Texas Medicine. After graduating from Texas State University, she worked in local news, covering state politics, public health, and education. Alongside her news writing, Alisa covered up-and-coming artists in Central Texas and abroad as a music journalist. As a Texas native, she enjoys capturing the landscape on her film camera while hiking her way across the Lonestar State.

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