Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD: Adjusting Migraine Care in a Pandemic

April 14, 2020

The professor of neurology at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine and founding president of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy spoke about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on his practice.

“This is a time where I may be deployed [to a medical center in my region], which means that whatever telemedicine appointments I have in that time would have to be further postponed. Everybody has had to make a lot of adjustments.”

The novel coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the planet has infected almost 2 million worldwide—half a million in the US alone—has had a devasting impact on health care systems. Outside of the strain it has put on the hospitals in the areas most greatly affected, that stress has not been limited to high case-count areas alone.

In Vermont, where Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, and founding president, Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy, practices headache medicine, the case count has stayed low in comparison to nearby New York and New Jersey. However, Shapiro—who is signed up for surge deployment to his area medical centers to help at peak times of infection—told NeurologyLive that his practice, and many others like it, has not been unaffected.

Although, there has been some good news. Shapiro explained how his medical center at the University of Vermont as well as his patients have adjusted quickly and smoothly in the move to telemedicine. He detailed how this has changed his evaluation of patients and what challenges he has needed to overcome in this time of uncertainty.