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 scan revealed a hip injury, her coaches searched for a specialist with expertise in treating figure skaters. The search led Gabriela to Julie S. Han, MD, 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 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.
“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
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.”