In this modern age, coding is a ubiquitous talent possessed by the many rather than the few. Despite this, there appears to be one group resistant to the changing dynamic of adoption of coding skills. Doctors.

Amongst the numerous skills taught to doctors at medical school – coding is not one of them. This stoic approach stands in the face of other university degrees which have increasingly adopted provision of coding skills into their syllabuses to best prepare graduates for the working world.

It seems then, that the reason that medics haven’t learnt to code is because they don’t need to.

However, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Medics are able to see the problems that face healthcare on a daily basis, at the frontlines of delivering care to patients. They are able to spot inefficiencies and optimisations in a system which constantly necessitates innovation to improve patient care. However, medics lack the modern skillset required to innovate for healthcare.

I believe that it’s of vital importance for medics to learn basic coding skills for one of two reasons:

1 .To enable effective discussion between healthcare professionals and technically skilled individuals who are able to innovate for healthcare. This enables improved communication of the vision between medics and coders.

2. To encourage medics to think laterally and adopt other methods of problem-solving in order to foster a culture of innovation.

We recently started up an initiative called CodeMD with the aim of empowering clinicians with skills to code for healthcare. More details available at codemd.co.uk.