@allysond, @EdDand I just did some telemedicine work yesterday, and I would say it was a lot more difficult than expected. With the COVID situation it is definitely the preferred method now for patients and physicians, but for the importance of data gathering it can be a challenge to not physically be with a patient to get the clear and uninterrupted picture as to what you need. What are your thoughts on this new normal, and how do you see this changing medicine as we know it?
Personally, I am not a fan. I understand desperate times call for desperate measures, but there is a large step off in this Doctor-Patient interaction. Hiding behind connection issues are audio interruptions, visual distortions, disconnections, and a lack of a thorough physical exam. However, benefits for some can be the ease of being at home. As a patient, I hate getting in a car and taking an hour or two out of my busy schedule to visit my primary care physician. So the possibility of connecting with them from home makes it seem excellent for my time, patience, and cost.
Speaking from our current experiences in clinicals, I personally did not know what to expect. I knew there would be a lack of the hands-on experience I want, but its giving me more time to study which I hope pays off for my test scores. The telemedicine we have connected with, thus far, has been difficult. I struggle to hear my preceptors through random cuts in audio and the muffling of their voices behind a mask. Sadly theres nothing to fix these two issues I have experienced. I remain optimistic that we will have a chance to get back in-person soon, but taking everything for what it is worth and making the best of it!
I’ve only done telemedicine during my Psych rotation. It was geared around follow ups for maintenance. We discussed current moods, thoughts, adherence, etc… I see the pros of telemedicine as convenient for the patient. They don’t have to drive or wait much. I have friend’s who use it all the time and love it. On a personal note, I think it can be convenient for doctors as well for the same reasons but there are times when you need a good physical to understand the situation. Also, having the patient there in front of you has that personal touch with the knowledge that it really is just the two of you there and it is a safe place to open up.