LA orthopedic surgeon says physical interaction with patients may never happen again

Coronavirus has led to an empty waiting room for many doctors who do elective procedures. Photo by Pixabay.

As COVID-19 cases increase, hospitals are considering postponing elective procedures. That means another financial shock for doctors not involved in emergency care. And telemedicine doesn’t always work for their specialities.

Dr. Isaac Schmidt, an orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Los Angeles, says patients only come for emergencies.

He received federal aid money, which he calls “a very, very significant lifeline.” He says that allowed him to keep his business open and continue paying staff.

However, he says his practice will eventually run out of money and he’ll have to dismiss staff. “I’m going to make every effort I can not to do that, but eventually, I don’t know what else to do,” he says. 

For the time being, he says he can make that decision in four to six months. 

Looking to the future, he says, “My sense is that this is going to change dramatically the way we practice. For people like myself, who’ve been doing the same thing for years, it is critical, the physical interaction. And that may not happen again. Believe it or not, but that interaction made a difference to me. And I’m going to miss that.”

Credits

Guest:
Dr. Isaac Schmidt - orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin