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Telemedicine: What's Changed and What Needs to be Addressed?

Along with our patients, we've spent the last several months adapting to telemedicine. Following is an update on legislative changes and uncertainties, a look at the care gap that may still exist, and examining the trajectory of telemedicine after the initial rapid growth spurred by COVID-19.

Wisdom for New Rheumatology Fellows

Congratulations on choosing the greatest profession, one equally dedicated to both science and patient care. You are now part of a guild that will support you and anticipate your success. Rheumatology needs you to be a big thinking, futuristic problem-solving practitioner who will lead and learn, research and teach. Here are my words of wisdom for aspiring MSK phenoms.

ICYMI: Faith

For Jessica, an ICU nurse, 12-hour shifts were usually fast paced, challenging and productive. But the cadence and demands of work abruptly changed mid-March when COVID-19 came. Amongst her many ICU admissions she took care of Larry, who was instantly interesting and forever memorable. He had contracted the coronavirus less than a week before. He was a 60-ish yr. old man who tried to be humorous, but who was clearly distressed and worried. He was febrile, anxious, breathing hard and on the verge of being unstable. 

ICYMI: Some Good Things, During the Time of COVID-19

It is not hyperbole to acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, inflicting pain and suffering to many, and inconvenience to all. As everyone struggles to make it through these difficult times, it might be worth pointing out some small silver linings that have emerged despite this pernicious dark cloud.

ICYMI: Our Privilege

Another lonely locked-down day. Seems like months. Rent is due, phone and EMR fees next week. Loan is pending. Seems impossible to treat complex diseases without touch and only computer screen rapport. And yet, it is a good day.

ICYMI: Shutdown and the New Normal

COVID-19 is not going to suddenly end on June 1st. This is a long haul change and you need to be prepared for the aftershocks and fallout. It’s time to be be a Marine and ”Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome”.

Faith

For Jessica, an ICU nurse, 12-hour shifts were usually fast paced, challenging and productive. But the cadence and demands of work abruptly changed mid-March when COVID-19 came. Amongst her many ICU admissions she took care of Larry, who was instantly interesting and forever memorable. He had contracted the coronavirus less than a week before. He was a 60-ish yr. old man who tried to be humorous, but who was clearly distressed and worried. He was febrile, anxious, breathing hard and on the verge of being unstable. 

Graduation

Congratulations! 

Years of training and work, all your efforts and overcoming hurdles have culminated in where you are today – on the verge of a new life, a new plan and possibly a new career.

Our Privilege

Another lonely locked-down day. Seems like months. Rent is due, phone and EMR fees next week. Loan is pending. Seems impossible to treat complex diseases without touch and only computer screen rapport. And yet, it is a good day.

Shutdown and the New Normal

COVID-19 is not going to suddenly end on June 1st. This is a long haul change and you need to be prepared for the aftershocks and fallout. It’s time to be be a Marine and ”Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome”.

Urgent or Not

Our practice standards have been flipped. The physician’s best clinical tool has become the webcam or telephone. The nagging question is: “who needs to be seen in clinic or in the hospital with a F2F evaluation?” It basically boils down to urgency.
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