Re: Where are the Doctors?
Doctors' time is spread thin and, actually, it's one reason some think telemedicine could help. The doctor I cited in the story closed her practice after she and her husband had a child. When she wanted to return to work, she didn't want to open a new practice because of the long hours, so when she heard about becoming a full-time employee of American Well -- a situation that allowed her to practice medicine, see patients from anywhere, and have all the benefits of a f/t position -- she was very excited. She was an MD and familiar with tech, plus had a good bedside manner, enabling her to get the job, apparently.
In other words, just as there are different personalities and ambitions across other fields, there are the same demands and drivers in medicine. In an interview for a separate story, an American Well exec told me the company has some retired doctors who don't want to work full-time, but enjoy putting in two or three days per week, helping patients. So telehealth actually expands the base of doctors by allowing physicians to work a day (or more) instead of retiring or stopping working. Also, while some areas of the country have only a few or no doctors or specialists, other regions -- such as cities like NYC, LA, etc. -- have many, many specialists. Through telemedicine, these specialists and doctors can see patients far away, who would not otherwise have been able to visit a doctor for many weeks or maybe months.
That's the main reason, @LeeB, I disagree so strongly with the AMA on its stance about being licensed within the patient's state.