Throughout the history of medicine, there have been two recurring themes: change and resistance to change. Changes in medicine came in the form of scientific advances such as the germ theory of disease, which resulted in the discovery of antibiotics and sterile techniques in surgery. Other changes were technological, from the invention of the microscope, the stethoscope, and the x-ray. Resistance to change came in the form of skeptical doctors who were slow to accept that microbes could cause disease. Others doubted that x-rays were any better than a doctor’s physical examination skills. When the internet came along, bringing telemedicine with

Telemedicine is defined as any doctor–patient encounter that occurs via electronic means. The technology supporting telemedicine has been around for years; then it became essential in early 2020, and telemedicine became a household activity. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, typical healthcare systems provided 50 virtual visits per day. Beginning in March 2020, that number spiked to over 3000 per day. Outpatient offices that had previously billed fewer than 1% of their visits as virtual encounters suddenly started performing over 90% of the visits electronically. Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic When it became clear that stemming the spread of the disease would involve social distancing