Just over two years ago, nearly every kind of medical appointment meant a patient had to physically go to the provider's facility.
Ronjon Paul, MD, spine surgeon and chair of the spine department at Downers Grove, Ill.-based Duly Health and Care, joined "Becker's ASC Review Podcast" to talk about how telehealth could increase access to spine physicians amid shortages.
Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast episode here.
Question: What do you think the legacy of COVID-19 will be on the spine field?
Dr. Ronjon Paul: There's a huge shortage of physicians. You don't see it in the urban and suburban areas, but overall nationally, there's a massive shortage of physicians. It gets unbelievably more apparent in spine. So you get out of the major metropolitan areas, and trying to get advanced spine techniques done in an ASC becomes more and more difficult.
One of the things that came out of the pandemic was surgeons learning to run clinics virtually. To be able to work with a physician well outside of your area virtually, at least initially, is going to be a monumental improvement for a lot of the country.