Patient Stories About Video Doctor Visits
At NYU Langone, many of our doctors and care providers offer video visits, allowing you to have an appointment with your doctor over video chat instead of coming in to the doctor’s office. Video visits are available for many different types of appointments across a range of specialties. Here our patients share their experiences with video visits.
Gabriela’s Story About a Video Visit for a Hip Injury
“The video visit was very similar to my first in-person visit. Dr. Han even had my mom help position me in different ways to determine whether I could go back to my usual routine.”
—Gabriela, Age 10
A figure skater since she was 3 years old, Gabriela, 10, spends hours on the ice in pursuit of her ultimate goal—making it to the 2026 Winter Olympics.
In February, Gabriela began to feel pain in her right hip. When an MRI revealed a hip injury, her coaches searched for a specialist with expertise in treating figure skaters. The search led Gabriela to Dr. Julie S. Han, a sports health expert and sports medicine doctor at NYU Langone. As a former competitive figure skater, Dr. Han understands Gabriela’s passion for the sport and her unique needs as a young athlete. “Dr. Han gets it because she has the same background as me,” Gabriela says.
Dr. Han advised Gabriela to avoid exercises such as running and jumping that could put more stress on the hip. Dr. Han also suggested stretches and low-impact exercises Gabriela could do to remain physically active until she could return to the rink.
When it came time for her follow-up visit in April 2020, preventing the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was a paramount concern. Dr. Han’s office contacted Gabriela’s mother, Ruth, and offered her a safe alternative: a video doctor visit using the NYU Langone Health app. Ruth logged into the app using the NYU Langone Health MyChart account she had set up for Gabriela’s first appointment.
During the 30-minute video visit, Dr. Han had Gabriela do some physical exam maneuvers and instructed her on how to move so she could assess her hip. “The video visit was very similar to my first in-person visit,” Gabriela says. “Dr. Han even had my mom help position me in different ways to determine whether I could go back to my usual routine.”
Gabriela was able to complete the physical exam and jump on the right leg without feeling any pain. “Dr. Han said Gabriela could go back to her normal activities, doing jumps and other high-impact moves,” Ruth says. “She also recommended vitamin D and nutritional advice to help keep her bones healthy.”
“I really recommend video doctor visits,” she adds. “It’s very convenient, and I was glad that I was still able to keep my daughter’s appointment without having to go outside and put ourselves at risk.”
Nataliya’s Story About a Video Visit for High Blood Pressure
“I recommend video doctor visits for everyone. It’s very easy, and was a very good experience.”
—Nataliya, Age 51
Nataliya, 51, lives in Rego Park, Queens, but hails from Ukraine where she grew up speaking both Ukrainian and Russian. And while she also speaks English, “when I’m with my doctor I prefer to speak Russian,” Nataliya says. “Sometimes I don’t know the specific medical words in English, so speaking Russian is more comfortable.”
Nataliya has high blood pressure, which she monitors daily at home. She also checks in with her doctor to make sure her medication is working correctly and her blood pressure is under control. For a recent check-in, Nataliya opted for a video visit with her doctor, Yanina Etlis, DO, allowing her to converse in her native Russian from the comfort and convenience of her home.
“It was a very good experience for me,” Nataliya says. “My appointment was at 9:55AM, and at exactly 9:55 the doctor was on the line. It was a 15- to 20-minute call, and then it was done. It was not necessary for me to go to the office.”
Dr. Etlis was able to review her blood pressure logs with Nataliya during the video call using the NYU Langone Health app. They also discussed how she was feeling, her sleep habits, and how her new medication was working. “If I go to the doctor’s office, that takes an hour and half out of my day,” Nataliya says. “The video visit took 20 minutes. For me, it was very easy.”
So easy that after the call she helped her husband set up his own appointment for a video visit. He hadn’t been feeling well, but didn’t want to go into the doctor’s office.
“My husband spoke with a doctor at 5:00PM,” Nataliya says. “The doctor sent the prescription to the pharmacy, and that night we had the medicine. He was very happy. I would recommend this service to anyone.”
Nechi’s Story About a Video Visit for Lupus Medication
“The video visit was a pleasant surprise. I loved that I could go into the NYU Langone Health app and choose a time that worked for me.”
—Nechi, Age 28
Nechi had planned to spend only a couple of weeks at her father’s south Florida home escaping the New Jersey winter. But after a few days in the warmth, she decided to stay. When cases of COVID-19 began to surge there, she was suddenly confronting a worrisome situation.
Nechi, 28, needed a doctor’s appointment to continue getting medications to manage lupus, an autoimmune disorder. At the same time, she’s at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because of her compromised immune system and didn’t want to leave home and risk exposure.
“I was really worried,” she says. “I’m used to seeing a doctor every couple of months to monitor how I’m doing. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
That’s when Dr. David P. Selzer, her primary care doctor at NYU Langone Medical Associates—West Palm Beach, explained that he offered video visits to safely care for patients. Nechi scheduled one using her NYU Langone Health MyChart account and accessed the visit with Dr. Selzer through the NYU Langone Health app.
“He thought of everything,” she says. “He made sure that the pharmacy supplied enough of my medications for 90 days so I could stay at home. I’ve never had such a good primary care doctor.”
Nechi says the experience showed her the benefits of video visits and the services that are available with telemedicine. “I didn’t realize how much you can do virtually,” she says.
Vanessa’s Story About a Video Visit for Breast Cancer Treatment
“In the past, I have cancelled or rescheduled so many doctor’s appointments. With video visits, I never have to miss an appointment.”
— Vanessa, Age 38
In December 2019, shortly after Vanessa, 38, gave birth to her fourth child, her annual mammogram showed two suspicious areas on her breasts. A biopsy confirmed that she had early stage breast cancer.
Because she has a family history of breast cancer and tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation 10 years ago, Vanessa made the decision to have a bilateral mastectomy. Her breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Richard L. Shapiro, at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center performed the surgery in February 2020.
To discuss the next steps in her treatment, Vanessa was scheduled for a consultation with Dr. Ruth Oratz, a medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist at Perlmutter Cancer Center. But then came the COVID-19 pandemic, and Vanessa had mounting concerns about making it to her appointment. That’s when she got a call from the doctor’s office.
“I was asked if I wanted to opt for a video doctor visit instead, and I immediately agreed,” Vanessa recalls. Even under normal circumstances, getting to the doctor’s office can be challenging for her. In addition to arranging childcare for her children, who range in age from 5 months to 8 years, it takes nearly an hour to drive into New York City from her home in New Jersey.
When it was time for the visit, Vanessa logged into her NYU Langone Health MyChart account and accessed the video visit using the NYU Langone Health app on her iPad. “The video visit worked out a lot better for me. I was still talking face-to-face with Dr. Oratz, and she even took a quick look at my surgery scars,” Vanessa says.
During the 20-minute video visit, Dr. Oratz reviewed the results of the tumor biopsy and genomic test, which can help determine the most appropriate treatment option based on how likely the cancer is to return or spread. Vanessa was relieved to learn that she did not require chemotherapy or radiation after surgery. Instead, she would take hormone therapy for the next five years, which Dr. Oratz prescribed during the visit.
Vanessa says video visits help ensure that she continues follow-up care after breast cancer treatment. “In the past, I have cancelled or rescheduled so many doctor’s appointments because I was busy with my kids’ schedules. With video visits, I never have to miss an appointment in future,” she says.
Susan’s Story About a Video Visit for Occupational Therapy
“It’s been very convenient to be able to do my therapy at home, and I didn’t have to worry about having to travel back and forth.”
—Susan, Age 69
Susan had to laugh about the accident. The museum docent, age 69, was dashing through the Upper West Side apartment she shares with her husband—who was recovering from a broken ankle—to grab something from her desk. “Funny story,” she says. “I tripped over my husband’s crutches.”
When Susan fell on her outstretched hand, she broke her right wrist. She headed to NYU Langone’s Samuels Orthopedic Immediate Care Center, where she learned she would need surgery to repair the distal radius fracture, which also affected the wrist joint. A former colleague of her son—by coincidence, a hand surgeon in California—recommended hand and wrist surgeon Dr. Nader Paksima.
Dr. Paksima performed surgery to repair the wrist fracture in January 2020. “I’ve had a few surgeries in the past, and recovery has been painful. But after my wrist surgery, I felt great,” Susan says. “I didn’t really have pain and didn’t have to take any pain medication or anything.”
At her postoperative appointment a couple of weeks later, Dr. Paksima checked that her wrist was regaining strength and range of motion. For her comfort, safety, and convenience, her next follow-up appointment with Dr. Paksima was a video doctor visit, as were her occupational therapy sessions with Tatyana Khazanova, an occupational therapist with Rusk Rehabilitation who offers outpatient rehabilitation at NYU Langone Orthopedic Center.
“My hand was working quite well by the time I had my first visit with Tatyana,” Susan says. “But she could tell that it wasn’t 100 percent. She gave me some exercises so I could stretch out the muscles more. During my second visit, Tatyana gave me slightly harder exercises and explained that I should push myself so I could feel the muscles, but not so much that it hurts.”
After three sessions with Tatyana, Susan noticed marked improvement in her wrist’s strength, range of motion, and functionality. Susan was able to lean on her hand and bear her weight without pain and was able to lift heavier items. She gradually returned to the activities she enjoyed doing before her accident. “I feel like it’s quite good,” she says.
Susan, who has had physical therapy before in an office setting, said that her video visit experience provided the same level of personalized care as an in-person visit—plus she didn’t have to travel or sit in a waiting room. “Tatyana and I could see each other, and I was able to follow along as she showed me the exercises to do,” Susan says. “It’s been very convenient to be able to do my therapy at home, and I didn’t have to worry about having to travel back and forth.”