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Head and neck virtual medicine in a pandemic era: lessons from COVID-19
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  • Aman Prasad,
  • Ryan M. Carey,
  • Karthik Rajasekaran
Aman Prasad
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Ryan M. Carey
Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Karthik Rajasekaran
Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Abstract

The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has presented the world and physicians with a unique public health challenge. In light of its high transmissibility and large burden on the healthcare system, many hospitals and practices have opted to cancel elective surgeries in order to mobilize resources, ration personal protective equipment and guard patients from the virus. Head and neck cancer physicians are particularly affected by these changes given their scope of practice, complex patient population, and interventional focus. In this viewpoint, we discuss some of the many challenges faced by head and neck surgeons in this climate. Additionally, we outline the utility of telemedicine as a potential strategy for allowing physicians to maintain an effective continuum of care.