Online family doctor at desk with stethoscope smiling and waving hello at desktop computer screen greeting parents and child at telemedicine consultation via video call in modern convenient webcam app

Hastings Center Report

Facing Progress with Pragmatism: Telemedicine and Family Medicine

Abstract: The singular expertise of family physicians is the ability to manage complexity with pragmatism, both clinically and ethically. Telemedicine raises multiple questions about the nature of the patient-physician relationship as manifested in clinical encounters. Some of these questions are concerning, underscoring the need to assess whether medical care is better with this new technology—or if it is just different or maybe even worse. It seems clear, however, that, regardless of its limitations, telemedicine is here to stay. The pragmatic complex ethical question, then, is how all of us together—both medical professionals and society at large—will manage it.

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