What is the essential skill for a physician in a world with artificial intelligence (AI)? That was the question that elicited a momentary pause from Gregg Meyer, MD, MSc, Partners HealthCare Chief Clinical Officer, on the stage of the World Medical Innovation Forum. Recently, Dr. Meyer stood on another stage, in a PBS series called “Stories from the Stage,” to share his reflections on the eureka moment he experienced at the forum as he searched for a response.

In the episode, Dr. Meyer, also a practicing primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells the story of a bright young patient who was expecting her first child and visited his office with a thick stack of paper representing her medical history. Despite her complication-free pregnancy and Dr. Meyer’s reassurances, her delivery took an unexpected turn, and Dr. Meyer was left with the angst of hindsight. “I held this patient’s hand and thought, ‘What was maybe in that stack of paper that could have helped me prevent this?’” he explains.

Dr. Meyer shares that as he was about to answer the audience question at the forum by suggesting that “drawing better conclusions” is that essential skill for physicians in the age of AI, he realized the right answer was something more essential. “It’s the ability to share tears, to wipe them off, and offer reassurance and hope,” he says. “It’s essential to maintain that humanity.”

Hear more of Dr. Meyer’s anecdote—and the patient’s outcome—from “Stories from the Stage.”