…..It’s no surprise that telemedicine platforms are developing at an exponential rate. The CDC reported a 154% increase in telehealth visits in 2020 compared with the same months in 2019 and it is no surprise why. The convenience for both doctors and patients is truly incomparable and it has become the benchmark for ultimate flexibility in clinical medicine. By limiting direct patient contact, physicians are protected from communicable disease while safely generating income and providing critical clinical services to grateful patients. I imagine that the telehealth platform will only expand to the point of most Americans having easy telehealth access to a provider within just a few years.
…..While many physicians already provide telephone or video appointments through their institution of employment, independent telemedicine companies are empowering physicians to break away from hospital employment to provide telehealth care entirely on their own terms. Credentialing is efficient, streamlined, and only takes a few weeks. Physicians can see patients in the states where they hold an active medical license.
…..Many of these platforms are revolutionizing physician happiness and quality of life by building *gasp* mental health breaks into the workday. There is an emphasis on ensuring that the individual physician feels supported on the platform and part of a larger community of providers.
Currently, There are a couple of different models:
- Physicians are free to log on and off at their convenience and wait to be matched with a patient at any time of the day or night. This is perfect for days where you already plan to be home and doing other things around the house. Log on and wait for a notification that a patient has entered the “virtual waiting room”. Throw on the white coat hanging on the back of your office chair and start the visit. [pro-tip: prop a mini mirror on your desk to check your face/teeth before the video turns on and you find yourself face-to-face with a patient while trying to covertly suck the spinach from between your teeth]. Visits take no longer than 10 minutes and charting is simplified with a variety of preloaded templates. In this model, the physician is paid per patient.
- Providers can sign up for 4-8 hour shifts in advance and be scheduled for patients ahead of time. The provider will be paid for those blocks of time whether patients are scheduled or not. Some companies that offer shift work also offer a 401K contribution match for part-time (min 20 hrs/wk) employees.
…..Flexible: Anytime! From anywhere with Wifi!
…..Clinical: Keep up your clinical skills from the safety, comfort, and convenience of your home office.
…..Grateful patients: Despite this being a one-time encounter, these patients are so grateful to have access to an excellent physician, such as yourself, from the safety of their homes. It’s a good feeling.
Salary: Up to $200/hr with a high patient volume.
Flexibility meter: 10/10 (Log-in to see patients at Noon or Midnight and stay available for “walk-ins” for as long as you want)