PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Medicine is moving from the bedside to the desk top, that according to a doctor at the University of Pennsylvania medical school.

Bedside medicine involves diagnosing illness and treating symptoms, but Dr. Jason Karlawish says medicine has advanced to the stage where doctors can identify risk factors for conditions, such as high blood pressure, and can intervene before it develops.

He calls this desktop medicine.

“It’s a phrase that describes more and more where doctors and patients are meeting.”

Dr. Karlawish says this shift will change the way doctors are trained and how they practice.

“Physicians are practicing desktop medicine, they are, right now. I think though, they’re practicing it with some skills and tools that are less than adequate and one of my appeals is that we need to rethink how we’re running medicine in order to better practice desktop medicine.”

He says future med students will have to be as skilled in statistics, risk management and psychology as they are in biochemistry and anatomy.

“If we don’t have students that are enthusiastic and trained to take care of these desktop diseases, we’re not going to be able to serve our patients.”

Reported By: Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio

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