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  • Writer's pictureNick Lamb, PhD

Journal Club #5: The application of large language models in medicine: A scoping review

Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are transforming healthcare by enhancing diagnostics, medical writing, education and project management.

ChatGPT in medicine


Meng X, et al. The application of large language models in medicine: A scoping review. iScience. 2024;27(5):109713.


Since 2001, there has been a surge in LLM-related medical research papers. In this scoping review, the authors systematically reviewed more than 500 studies of LLM applications in medicine.


  • LLM-related medical research publications have increased rapidly, from a single publication in May 2021 to well over 100 papers in May 2023 alone

  • The paper highlights areas where LLMs have already transformed medical practices, including:

    • Medical writing

    • Medical examinations and education

    • Medical project and research management

    • Medical auxiliary diagnosis

    • Elevating medical communications

    • Inovative applications in nursing

  • Ethical considerations include data privacy, potential biases and the risk of over-reliance on AI

Key quote

"LLMs excel in drafting initial versions of articles and refining grammar and style in existing documents, thus enhancing their clarity and coherences."


  • LLMs show great future potential in healthcare, transforming diagnostics, writing and education

  • The cut-off date for this scoping review was July 2023, so newer advancements such as GPT-4o were not included

  • However, a key limitation is occasionally citing non-existent references


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