Dr. Hoa Phong Le is one of Medisys’ Montreal-based family physicians who — like many Canadians — has transitioned to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently seeing patients virtually on the Akira by TELUS Health virtual healthcare platform, so we caught up with him on how his patients are adapting to the change, and to hear his advice for flourishing in this unusual time. Fun fact: Dr. Le is also a lawyer!
1. You recently transitioned to seeing patients virtually through Akira. How has this experience been?
The most amazing part is the patient feedback! People are so happy and satisfied with the advice and care received through this service. They tell me it’s incredibly convenient, especially considering that visiting their usual clinics is nearly impossible these days.
2. How have your patients responded to the transition to virtual care?
The ones who consult for the first time are amazed by how easy it is to connect with a nurse or physician through video and chat.
I expect that we will in the near future integrate this as a part of regular care. It’s a great way to reach out easily for first advice, and when the situation requires, a formal visit in physical clinics will always play an important role.
3. How has your personal life changed in the past few weeks?
We get to be with the kids a lot! My two youngest ones who are not yet in school are super excited to have their older siblings at home full time!
4. What is one challenge you've faced during this pandemic?
Personally, what I find the hardest is to see friends and citizens struggling with their jobs and hard built businesses. But preventive sanitary measures are essential and I keep good confidence in our capacities to bounce back.
5. What is one silver lining you've experienced during this pandemic?
Solidarity. The vast majority of our society is stepping up together. We are not witnessing social distancing. We are seeing a collective effort, a need for social bonds and collective response to the crisis. I prefer the words physical distancing to qualify the sanitary measure.
6. Can you share one piece of advice for Canadians who are quarantined, self-isolating or physical distancing?
Try to exercise at home, even if it’s just 10 minutes 3 times per week. If you are teleworking from home, try to adjust your screens at a good height and move around in your "office" during the day.