Video Visits: Family Physician Experiences With Uptake During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fam Med. 2021 Mar;53(3):207-210. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2021.613099.


Background and objectives: With the emergence of COVID-19, telemedicine use has increased dramatically as clinicians and patients have looked for alternatives to face-to-face care. Prior research has shown high levels of patient satisfaction and comparable quality of care. Video visits have been hypothesized to be one way to reduce burnout among clinicians, but there has been minimal research on physician views of virtual care. We sought to measure family physician experience with video visits at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We identified all faculty and resident physicians at a large academic department of family medicine who had conducted a video visit in the prior month and conducted an anonymous online 12-question survey about their experiences, satisfaction, and barriers with care.

Results: Most eligible physicians responded (102/109, 94%), of whom half (52%) reported this was their first month trying a video visit. There was very high satisfaction (91% very or somewhat satisfied). The majority of respondents felt that video visits were shorter (54%) or took the same amount of time (38%) as in-person visits. There was concern that many physicians had experienced a visit in which they felt video was not the appropriate platform given patient concerns.

Conclusions: This study is among the first to assess physician experience with video visits. As the visits are perceived as shorter, they may offer a unique opportunity to address clinician burnout. There was a high level of satisfaction at our institution despite multiple technical challenges.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians, Family / psychology
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data*
  • Telemedicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States