As thousands of doctors’ offices shutter, telehealth becomes a way of life

Virtual healthcare has exploded during the pandemic, while traditional primary care offices have closed at an extraordinary rate. Can telehealth really replace primary care as our health system’s first line of defense?

Like many other physicians, Dr. Sandra Esparza and her husband Ramon closed their 17-year old primary care practice in December. It had always been a strain to both run the business and be the practice’s lead physicians, but the pressures of the pandemic made operating their company unsustainable. After closing their practice, Ramon, who is a pediatrician, started working full-time at a local clinic in Austin. Esparza started working for Doctor on Demand. She’s now licensed in 10 states caring for a stream of patients she’s never seen before and probably won’t see again.

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