Just as journalism has undergone drastic changes thanks to the advent of digital media, so has every other component of modern life – including medicine. While telemedicine was growing in popularity prior to 2020, particularly in remote areas where it’s difficult to attract good talent, it exploded during the pandemic.
Many healthcare systems began offering telemedicine appointments during the pandemic for everything from psychiatry to primary care visits; nearly anything that doesn’t require a physical examination or specialized medical imaging equipment could be done from the comfort of the patient’s home, and often the doctor’s home as well. Though Covid-19 has lessened in severity and visibility now, both doctors and patients have grown accustomed to the ease and convenience of remote doctor appointments and find them a viable option going forward.
Not only can you search for physician jobs online, you can work as a physician online as well. Physician job boards list hundreds of positions across a variety of specialties which can all be done from anywhere. Today, we’ll explore some of the most common telemedicine specialties, as well as how you can achieve one of these lucrative positions.
The Most Common Specialties for Telemedicine
Not every specialty has embraced telemedicine and for good reason. Anything to do with direct manipulation or examination of the patient, such as surgery, physical therapy, or performing diagnostics, cannot be done remotely, but this still leaves many positions which can be done from anywhere, including those we’ll discuss now.
Radiology was ahead of the curve when it comes to remote work: in fact, teleradiology has been prevalent for over half a century. Originally, teleradiology was only done in emergencies or for very remote locations, but now, it has become a well-accepted component of the radiology specialty. In fact, teleradiology has gone global, and radiologic images may be sent as far as India to be assessed and interpreted before being returned to the ordering physician.
Psychiatrist and Psychologist
Psychiatry and psychology are other specialties that are easy to perform remotely, as they are mostly based on patient self-reports and their general demeanor. While some psychiatric medications do require regular blood monitoring, psychiatrists can send orders in for a blood draw to be done at the patient’s convenience.
Psychologists can meet patients wherever they are and provide the same quality of services as they would give in their own offices; in fact, for psychologists in private practices, this can help them save money on their business expenses by reducing their office space.
While not quite as common as radiology and psychiatry, there are still some telemedicine endocrinology positions available throughout the United States. In this practice, you would speak to patients about their symptoms, order tests to be performed at a clinic in their area, interpret lab results, and advise the patient on the treatment or management of their disorder by sending prescriptions to their local pharmacy.
In 2022, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a consensus statement from the Endocrine Society affirming the prevalence of telemedicine in endocrinology and providing guidelines for future use of this important tool, cementing its status as a valid way to provide services to patients regardless of their location.
Similar to endocrinology, it’s possible to provide excellent rheumatological care by ordering tests, interpreting results, and determining proper treatment courses for patients. In fact, a 2022 article in Seminars on Arthritis and Rheumatology noted that rheumatology patients who received telemedicine appointments reported high satisfaction with the treatment they received.
This may be especially true as those with arthritis and other rheumatological disorders may find it difficult to attend appointments due to pain or mobility issues, and thus deeply appreciate the ability to get treatment without having to drive or walk long distances.
How to Land a Telemedicine Job
It goes without saying that physicians are like everyone else: having gotten a taste of the many benefits of telemedicine, they would like to continue working remotely if at all possible. This means that telemedicine positions are highly sought after, and you’ll have to work hard to prove your skills.
One thing you absolutely must focus on in seeking a telemedicine job is your Zoom interview skill: this doesn’t just prove your acumen as a clinician, but also your ability to provide excellent treatment to patients over video calls.
Set up an attractive, clean, and well laid out work area in your home, and ensure that you have no connectivity or webcam issues. Be able to speak confidently and authoritatively on camera, being sure to look directly at the camera when speaking rather than down at the faces of the interviewers. Just as with any interview, show up on time and well-groomed. You may find it helpful to practice with a friend or family member by setting up a dummy interview call so that you can get familiar with all the practicalities of the interviewer’s chosen platform.
Remote work isn’t just for office workers: it can be an attractive and lucrative offer for physicians as well. Continually check listings in your specialty, and practice your Zoom skills so that you’re ready to get started right away when the right job offer lands in your lap