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Telemedicine gained a foothold during the pandemic. By the end of 2021, digital doctor visits had increased by 63% over two years, according to a government study. And the trend seems to be holding strong, with many physicians and facilities–Las Vegas gynecologists included–continuing to provide telehealth access, post-pandemic.

While telemedicine has proven valuable and trends show that it’s here to stay, there are some limitations. In this blog, we’ll briefly cover some obstacles inherent to telehealth along with our proposed solution: hybrid clinics.

Limitations of Telemedicine-Only

While telemedicine was literally a life-saver throughout the pandemic, it comes with its limits. The most glaring limitation is the lack of a hands-on physical exam. For standard consultations, this is usually not an issue; but if certain diagnostic services are required, like pelvic exams or getting labs done, it gets a little trickier.

Another problem that telemedicine presents is patient access. Telemedicine requires some expensive equipment that not all patients have on hand; that we often take for granted. A virtual visit requires the following:

Even if you do have this equipment, you still must count on many factors to be in working order to participate in telemedicine appointments.

Related: Telemedicine Improves Access to Prenatal Care, But Can We Improve Access to Telemedicine

A third limitation of telemedicine is simply that some patients prefer the traditional visit to a doctor’s office. An in-office visit to a clinic where a real person is physically present to assist is preferable to some, especially those who are technology-illiterate, have certain disabilities, or struggle with the English language.

For those who feel telemedicine is not suitable to meet their comprehensive healthcare needs, hybrid clinics provide another pathway. My Virtual Physician is embracing this new solution, which offers our patients a new healthcare experience where they can have their gynecology or other healthcare needs met right there on the Las Vegas strip.

What is a Hybrid Medical Clinic?

A hybrid medical clinic is a physical building that offers some of the same services that you would expect from a traditional in-person doctor’s visit while also providing the equipment to meet virtually with your doctor. My Virtual Physician’s hybrid clinics are located at:

Our hybrid clinic will open its doors to walk-in patients as well as those who schedule an appointment. As you enter the clinic, our Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) will welcome you, take your vital signs, and collect any urine samples, if required. You’ll then be guided into a private room where the telehealth equipment is set up for you to meet virtually with our board-certified physicians. Our staff is here to help in the event that you need any further assistance.

Just a handful of the additional services that we can provide inside our hybrid clinics include the following:

*by appointment only when a nurse or specialist is required

Related: My Virtual Physician’s List of Women’s Telemedicine Services

The Value of In-person Healthcare Services

My Virtual Physician is excited to offer this new hybrid option to patients who prefer the in-person experience or who do not have access to the special equipment required for virtual visits or special services. While we understand that the hybrid clinic is not for everyone, or maybe just not for every visit, we have made it a priority to provide a physical alternative to the fully digital world of telemedicine.

Our intention is to provide value to our patients by offering in-person services as an option at our hybrid clinics. We deliver this as a solution to the limitations we find in telemedicine alone. Our hybrid clinic provides a nearby physical hub for specimen collection, as well as ultrasound, for prompt confirmations and diagnoses.

Our hybrid clinics will provide a safe, private, and well-equipped place for you to meet virtually with your OBGYN in Las Vegas to discuss your health needs. Come visit our friendly staff at our two hybrid locations today!

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So you’ve heard the acronyms OB and OBGYN, but have you put much thought into what the terms mean? In this blog, we’ll cover what an OBGYN is exactly, what an OBGYN does, and then we’ll share some details about our team of Las Vegas OBGYNs.

What is an OBGYN?

OBGYNs are doctors who specialize in the female reproductive system. The acronym can be written several ways:

All of these are acronyms for “obstetrician-gynecologist.” Let’s break that down. Obstetrics and gynecology are broken into separate terms to describe whether the woman under the physician’s care is pregnant or not. In other words–if you’re pregnant, you’re going to your OBGYN for obstetrics care; if you’re not pregnant, you’ll go for gynecology.

What is an Obstetrician?

The obstetrician part is where we get the acronym OB. Obstetrics is the practice of meeting the medical needs of women during pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery. Obstetric care also includes prenatal monitoring of the baby while in the womb. At birth, newborn care is handed over to a neonatologist and soon thereafter, medical care of the infant is transitioned to a pediatrician. Obstetrics requires close monitoring of the growing baby from a few weeks after conception to birth, including:

An OBGYN will continue to care for the new mother during the postpartum period to monitor that her body heals and that postpartum depression, if present, is managed.

Related: Telemedicine in Prenatal Care: What to Know About Seeing a Virtual Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-GYN)

What is a Gynecologist?

The second part of the OBGYN acronym is the gynecologist. A gynecologist specializes in caring for women’s reproductive systems. This can include diagnosing and managing ongoing conditions, such as painful or irregular menstrual cycles, or short-term needs such as regular STD testing. Gynecology also includes the implementation of contraceptives such as IUDs or birth control pills. Here’s a list of gynecological services that My Virtual Physician’s Las Vegas Gynecologists provide:

As the breasts are a part of the woman’s reproductive system, gynecologists also conduct cancer screenings.

The Training Behind the OBGYN

There is a lot that goes into becoming an OBGYN. A bachelor’s degree plus four years of medical school is the basic requirement for medical doctors. OBGYNs must complete an additional four years of residency, to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. That means your OBGYN has at least 12 years of training and education under his belt before licensure.

Once all education and residency requirements are met, OBGYNs must pass state-specific licensure exams. The exact requirements vary depending on the state. Board certification by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is not required, but this endorsement shows your OBGYN’s competence and commitment. In order to maintain voluntary certification, your OBGYN has to take a maintenance exam every six years.

Our Team of Las Vegas Gynecologists

At My Virtual Physician, we currently have two board-certified OBGYNs ready to see patients. Let’s get to know them a little better.

Dr. David Howard, M.D., Ph.D., CEO, OB/GYN

Dr. David Howard is the CEO and founder of My Virtual Physician. He is a board-certified OBGYN licensed in several states including:

Dr. Howard, a Jamaican native, achieved the following education and credentials:

  1. Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Johns Hopkins University)
  2. M.D. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology (Medical Scientist Training Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)
  3. Internship (New York-Presbyterian Hospital)
  4. Residency in OBGYN (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
  5. Post-doctoral fellowship in epidemiology (North Carolina Chapel Hill)
  6. Board-Certification

In addition to his training, Dr. Howard has been named a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Read more about our doctors.

Dr. Radihka Sharma, OB/GYN

My Virtual Physician is proud to have Dr. Radihka Sharma serving our patients with their obstetrics and gynecology needs. Her education was completed at Saba University School of Medicine with residency at Aultman Hospital. She is board-certified and specializes in pelvic floor disorders and reconstruction.

Conclusion

OBGYNs provide essential healthcare services for women. With this blog, we hope that you have a better understanding of the services that your Las Vegas OBGYN can provide for you, whether it’s gynecology or obstetrics.

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male female symbol on wall

If you’re living in Las Vegas, you may have struggled to find the right fit when it comes to an OBGYN that you are truly comfortable with. But even with the local physician shortage, you don’t have to sacrifice on your healthcare–thanks to technology and telemedicine. Have you considered the power that you hold when it comes to making this important decision?

Choosing a gynecologist is a personal decision and usually leads to a life-long patient-doctor relationship. Don’t limit yourself to your geographical circumstances. In order to find the best fit, you may need to consider stepping outside the box and trying something new: seeing your physician virtually, known as telemedicine.

But this blog isn’t about the benefits of telemedicine, if you want to read more on that subject check out the links below:

Instead, we’re going to take a look at whether it matters if you choose a male or female OBGYN. While there is likely no definitive answer regarding which gender is better at the job, personal preference is a different story. You usually wouldn’t factor gender into the equation when selecting your doctor, but when choosing your Las Vegas gynecologist, it could play a factor.

Reasons Women Prefer a Female Gynecologist

Studies have found that most women prefer female gynecologists. The reason behind the results is likely due to the social stigma related to the sex organs and discussing your sex life. Culture has taught us that men usually do not want to participate in any conversation surrounding the topics of periods, pregnancy, or problems down there.

Another reason that many women prefer a female OBGYN is that a female doctor has life-long experience living in the female body, with the female reproductive system. They may have personally experienced some of the conditions that patients face. You may feel more understood by a doctor who shares the same gender.

Reasons To Choose a Male Gynecologist

Some women prefer male gynecologist. One reason may be that traditionally, the role of the doctor was filled by males. Males are already accepted in the medical field as trusted providers and well-established in obstetrics-gynecology.

Another reason some women choose a male gynecologist is that males may be more sympathetic than female OBGYNs. The explanation behind this reasoning is that doctors who have experienced the same female reproductive problems as their patients may be a bit desensitized, and therefore more dismissive, of patient complaints since their own experience plays a factor in their assessment. For that reason, a male gynecologist might tend to be more compassionate to a patient’s needs.

Does it Matter?

Many women do not make the final decision of choosing their gynecologist based on gender alone. While it may be a consideration after the initial consultation, it’s generally a supporting factor rather than a deal-breaker. For example, if a patient feels the doctor is competent and has a great bedside manner, gender may not be a consideration. However, if a patient feels the experience was less than ideal, but the doctor seemed competent, gender may play into the decision of whether to return or find a new physician.

Conclusion

Choosing your Las Vegas OBGYN is a personal decision. With a world of possibilities open to you via telemedicine options, you can find the right gynecologist for the best patient experience, regardless of whether you prefer a male or female physician, or have no preference.

Related: Getting it Right: Choosing the Best Gynecologist in Las Vegas

At My Virtual Physician, we make patient satisfaction a priority by staffing multiple board-certified OBGYN physicians; we are certain that you’ll have a great patient experience with a physician that suits your healthcare needs.

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This past year tested many young businesses. Telemedicine is not new. But the My Virtual Physician (MVP) business model is. The virtual doctor practice offers the best in online doctor services as a direct-to-consumer multi-specialty provider licensed in multiple states. Regardless of 2020's challenges, the MVP virtual doctor team didn't slow down. They focused on their path to becoming the #1 online doctor and forged ahead.

My Virtual Physician Celebrates One Year as the #1 Online Doctor

Over the last 12 months, MVP worked hard to bring high-quality medical care into homes in 15 states. They now offer online pediatric, gynecologic, and primary healthcare services for patients of all ages. Plus, they provide same-day scheduling for online physician appointments, some in-network insurance benefits, and five-star customer service.

As the #1 online healthcare provider, MVP doctors get to know their patients. Quality care is emphasized, and they aim to provide the best patient satisfaction in telemedicine. Here’s what patients are saying about MVP's online doctors: 

“I would give My Virtual Physician more stars if I could”

“Dr. Howard has the best personality and is very friendly.”

“The future of medical visits; what better way to social distance.”

“A+ would recommend to everyone.”

Since their launch, MVP has opened new offices and added service lines such as nutrition and diabetic care. The practice has partnered with more online doctors and added office staff. Just this Spring, MVP enhanced their patient portal for self-scheduling, and integrated a program to trend patient reviews. 

This one year anniversary milestone is cause for celebration. It is exciting, and this is only the beginning. Despite any challenges that lie ahead for this medical practice, their progress shows that the future is very bright for My Virtual Physician. 

Congratulations to Dr. Howard, Dr. Masghati, Dr. Ayyagari, and all of the My Virtual Physician Staff.

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