Family medicine doctors must be safe, resilient

In Community Health by admin

In addition to emergency room staff and other front-line workers, family medicine physicians are feeling the brunt of coronavirus fear and mitigation.

Faced with the unknown, many physicians are doing what they can to help patients while still protecting their own health, and the health of their families and the practices they manage.

“We have been giving daily updates to our staff, trying to keep them alert of everything,” said Lindsay Landers, DO, with Andover Family Medicine. “And we have a phone triage system with four nurses set up to accept those phone calls and ask about symptoms.”

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and other physician-support groups say staying educated on the latest guidance and information about coronavirus is one of the most important steps physicians can take.

Some Wichita physicians are looking into providing alternative services such as telemedicine.

“We have five or six doctors over age 70,” said Larry Derksen, DO, with West Wichita Family Physicians. “They don’t need to be exposed either. We’re checking with the insurance companies now. If they broaden the scope to do some telemedicine, that would help a lot.”

The American Academy of Family Physicians advises doctors to educate staff on facility policies and practices to minimize chance of exposure to respiratory pathogens including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

See inside this issue for more resources compiled especially for MSSC members.