NEWS

July 02, 2018

Telemedicine and the future by Corey A. Siegel, MD, MS

As medical students, if we were lucky and trained in the right era, we were taught how to interact with patients in the clinic in a compassionate and professional manner so that patients would trust that we care about them and understand how to keep them well. As technology and reimbursement strategies evolved, barriers to this goal emerged, including lurking in the electronic medical record and the increasing pressure for shorter clinic visits. For patients, their clinic visit with us may have been the most important task they did that week, month or year. They may have taken a day off from work and lost wages, driven many miles, spent money on childcare, and worried about what they might hear, only to be shuffled in and out of the visit. I often worry that patients don’t feel that they’ve gotten what they deserve from the commitment they made to come to the office. When I first learned about telemedicine, my initial reaction was that it would make all of this worse. But I’ve since discovered that this is wrong.

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