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The number of physicians who self-reported telemedicine as a skill has doubled.
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Women physicians are 10% more interested in telemedicine jobs compared to men, according to the findings of a Doximity study released this week.
Doximity researchers used data on engagement with job postings on its network. More than 70% of all U.S. doctors are members of the network, according to the company. The researchers defined engagement with the postings as a click to see more information, submitting a resume or scheduling an input call.
“With this unique data set, for the first time we can narrowly study physicians and their relationship with alternative clinical opportunities, such as telemedicine and locum tenens opportunities,” said Christopher Whaley, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health.
The Increased Interest in Telemedicine
The professional medical network’s study revealed that doctors’ skills using telemedicine doubled from 2015 to 2018 and is increasing 20% per year.
And when examining physician interest by age, the study found that all groups are interested in telemedicine. These results differ from an American Well survey which revealed younger physicians as more willing to use telemedicine. Physicians aged 30 to 40 years old reported the highest interest at 28.4%, followed by physicians 40 to 50 years old (26.5%), 50 to 60 years old (23.5%) and 60 to 70 years old (17.6%).
The researchers ranked the top U.S. metropolitan areas that had the highest number of physicians who expressed interest in telemedicine. Most of the physicians reside in highly-populated metro areas. The top five with the most physicians engaging with telemedicine jobs included:
The study also revealed that radiology was the specialty most engaged with telemedicine job postings. The top five specialties most engaged with these postings included psychiatry, internal medicine, neurology and family medicine.
Contrarily, anesthesiology was the specialty least engaged with such postings. The least engaged specialties included general surgery, orthopedic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology and oncology.
“Our research shows that doctors are embracing telemedicine as an alternative to traditional clinical practices, which is good news for patients,” said Amit Phull, M.D., vice president of strategy and insights at Doximity. “By removing physical limitations, physicians can now expand their patient-base to rural areas that are currently underserved by different specialties.”
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