How long I’ve been at Rush: I was a dietitian at Rush for six years from 1995–2001, but have been a physician assistant at Rush for eight years.
Where I got my medical degree: I received my master’s degree in medical science (MMS) from the Physician Assistant Program at Midwestern University. I’m currently working on my PhD in the College of Health Sciences at Rush.
What I like to do when I’m not working: When I am not working in the summer you can find me on our boat! I love to spend time with my husband and my dogs. One of my dogs is therapy certified, and we love visiting patients — we’re looking forward to getting back to doing that! I am also a triathlete, so I spend a lot of my free time training.
I am a physician assistant at Rush in the emergency medicine department. I’ve spent most of my career in emergency medicine, but I have experience in both family medicine and internal medicine.
Comfort and convenience
Throughout my career, I’ve enjoyed the chance to talk with many kinds of patients. Working in the on-demand program is no exception to that. I love that, with on-demand virtual care, I can connect with patients at their convenience and in a setting that’s comfortable for them.
With on-demand virtual care, patients who may be nervous coming to the clinic in-person can feel at ease. Additionally, patients who may have transportation or mobility issues can connect with a provider easily and may be more motivated to seek care using a virtual platform.
Advice for patients seeking virtual care
As I have continued to see more patients virtually, I’ve learned a little bit about the process and common issues that patients may have. I have a few tips that may help patients as they access virtual care:
Have patience with yourself and the technology — if it’s your first time using virtual care, give yourself extra time to prepare and get used to the setup.
Make sure you’re in a place where you can speak freely, so the provider can thoroughly address your problem.
Always keep your device handy once you are in the virtual waiting room, so you are ready when your provider arrives.
Treating patients and getting creative
Virtual care has increased across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think the platform will only continue to grow. Virtual care increases convenience for patients, and we’re also on the way to improved reimbursement practices and insurance coverage for telehealth, which I think is extremely important for patients.
I’ve treated many common complaints over virtual care, such as rashes, cold/flu and minor injuries. Seeing patients virtually reminds me how amazing it can be to be able to connect with a patient and brainstorm creative ways that we can replicate the features of a traditional exam. I’ve been able to improvise with a patient to take their vital signs, check their range of motion and ask someone who lives with the patient to assist with a musculoskeletal exam (a thorough exam that checks joints, muscles and bones for swelling, redness and ease of movement).