Telemedicine: We Have The Technology, Do We Have The Doctors?

Telemedicine has long been thought a pathway to better care but according to New York Times columnist Pauline Chen “telemedicine has failed to take hold in the same way that other, newer technologies have.” 

“The most daunting obstacle to date has been a deeply entrenched resistance on the part of providers, ” she writes,  “for many doctors, telemedicine seems to depersonalize the [physician-patient] relationship and sabotage trust.”

Chen writes, “But with dire predictions of physician shortages, particularly in rural regions, and insufficient numbers of critical care specialists even in large metropolitan areas, telemedicine likely has an important role in improving the quality of patient care.” She adds, “But it will only work if all of us, doctors and patients, accept care from a clinician working in conjunction with a team of providers, each of whom is deeply engaged and committed to the patient, and some of whom, on occasion, may not be anywhere near the patient’s bedside, city or state”.
 
New York Times: Chen: Are Doctors Ready For Virtual Visits

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