Pavel Klein, MD: Telemedicine Impact on Patient-Clinician Relationship

October 18, 2020

The director of the Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center in Bethesda, Maryland, shared his thoughts on how technology has affected patient care and the patient-physician dynamic during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You cannot compensate Zoom over that face-to-face interaction. You don’t get to know the person as well when you’re not in the room with them. This may not be such an issue for someone you’ve cared for over 20 years… But it certainly impacts getting to know someone for the first time.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians have been forced to adapt to technological strategies of seeing and treating patients from their homes. This lack of in-person visits has its pros and cons. On one hand, it further accelerated the clinical care use of telemedicine for treating patients, something that has been continually building for years, while also appealing to those who may be a long distance from their clinician.

On the other hand, there are limitations that come with it. Pavel Klein, MD, director, Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, feels that the in-person patient-clinician dynamic is not the same with these technology-based visits, and takes away from the personal relationship that comes with treating patients. He also stressed that technology may decelerate the relationship process for those who are meeting a clinician for the first time.

Klein sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the increased role of telemedicine since the beginning of the pandemic and how it has impacted the patient-clinician relationship.