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Is Telemedicine Good Medicine?

Everyone I know is waiting to return to the traditions of a pre COVID era like the summer vacation or the family & friends gathering for a Thanksgiving meal.  At the same time, no one seems willing to forego the travel hassles, expenses or time consumed in order to revisit last year's hopefully "once & done" meeting for the holidays on Zoom.

While the internet has enabled us to reach out to others across the world, I don't know of anyone who believes that a video conference captures a moment the same as a face to face meeting.  There is no denying that much of our communications will remain over these platforms as a matter of cost savings, convinience & safety.  However, one must consider the down sides to leaving their healthcare encounter to a telemedicine interaction.

From a doctor's perspective what is lost in not meeting with a patient directly?  First and foremost is the quality of the healthcare provided.  At Innovative Healthcare Physicians we prefer to use the telemedicine as a tool to render quick care when obstacles to obtaining that care exist due to patient's restrictions to travel to the office or their condition prevents it but with the caveat that a full care follow up will be requested to ensure that nothing is neglected.

Telemedicine is a great opportunity to begin the dialogue and to open the door in a patient-physician discussion.  For some it's an opportunity to initiate a new conversation with their doctor. But again, the emphasis of the encounter is on the convinience and not the completeness.

Every doctor visit in person provides the ability to more greatly appreciate the patient's answers and comments because unfortunately sublelties are lost over the internet.   It allows the opportunity to complement the visit with a physical exam, imaging or lab testing as the situation warrants (none of which can be achieved with a telemedicine visit).

For the near future telemedicine & the office visit will work hand in hand to improving patient care, satisfaction and ease. Neither is dispensible but neither will be the sole means for providing the highest level of care which we continue to strive towards.

We look forward to speaking to you in person & offering you the option when appropriate to meet some of your healthcare needs online.

 

Author
John Wirth MD Dr. Wirth is a board certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist based in lower Manhattan. He completed his OBGYN residency training at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh. His areas of interest include pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence and offering effective non-invasive and surgical treatments & minimally invasive methods to treating pelvic pain. He is a highly regarded expert in treatment options for heavy menstrual periods or pain associated with periods.

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