Show & Tell

Convenient televisits with physician broaden access to care.

As a marketing manager for a financial services firm, Michael White oversees advertising, website support and promotional services.

Photo courtesy of Michael White.

Michael White

“I studied marketing and finance in business school,” the Dallas native explains. “Doing marketing for a financial services company is a natural extension of my education and a way to combine the two disciplines.”

Twenty years ago, Michael relocated to Florida from Long Island, New York. One of the first things he did when he got here was find a primary care physician. He discovered Michael A. Zimmer, MD, a board-certified internist at Zimmer Medical Services in St. Petersburg.

Dr. Zimmer practices concierge medicine, a practice model where physicians see fewer patients, allowing them to spend more time with each one. Dr. Zimmer is available to patients by telephone, text and email, and through televisits.

“I’ve been with Dr. Zimmer for nearly 15 years, and most of our encounters have been traditional appointments,” Michael describes. “We had an appointment scheduled in March, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it made sense for me to take advantage of a televisit. Televisits are one example of the virtual medical support Dr. Zimmer provides as part of his concierge practice.”

Beneficial Tool

Televisits are interactive audio and video sessions with a physician available via computer, tablet or smartphone. They are conducted on a secure platform using data encryption to safeguard confidentiality. This permits open discussion of the patient’s medical history as well as discussion and assessment of any conditions.

“Most of the diagnosis in internal medicine is based on the medical history, so televisits are a very useful tool in my practice,” Dr. Zimmer asserts. “They have been particularly useful during this COVID-19 pandemic, when many patients at high risk for infection have been reluctant to leave their homes.

“But televisits also benefit younger, more active patients with very busy schedules. Televisits enable these patients to meet with me whenever they find time in their day to review their preventive care plans, tests and lab results.”

The biggest advantage of televisits over other technology is the video component. Video is especially valuable when there’s a rash, sore or other visible sign of disease that Dr. Zimmer can assess during a physical examination.

“It is easy for patients to schedule a televisit,” Dr. Zimmer assures. “Once patients make a request, a staff member from my office emails them a link, which opens up into the secure application for the visit. My patients truly appreciate this convenient access to care.”

“Dr. Zimmer offers televisits at normal times, and that’s the reason I chose to take advantage of it during the pandemic,” Michael relates. “He reviewed my bloodwork and other health considerations just like he would during a traditional visit.

“Televisits are convenient, and there’s little trade-off in conducting an appointment virtually. It’s great to have a doctor like Dr. Zimmer who’s flexible and supports this technology. My televisit worked out well for me.”

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    • Michael A. Zimmer, MD, MACP

      Michael A. Zimmer, MD, MACP, is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Zimmer completed his undergraduate studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he grad... Read More