David L. Howard, MD, PhD, is a progressive OB/GYN and entrepreneur who began an all-virtual practice in 2020. He started by focusing on gynecology consults using telemedicine, an underutilized technology in that specialty. Furthermore, many existing telemedicine companies were staffed with general practitioners who didn’t offer specialist consults. As his private practice evolved, he opened a physical location in Las Vegas, Nevada, adding a pediatrician and an internist to his multi-specialty team.
The goal of Dr. Howard's practice was to ultimately expand from the virtual space to brick and mortar locations, an intentional business plan that was highly progressive and forward-thinking for the field. He used his first two years in business to perfect his technological workflow and gain access to many insurance networks so that a physical location would be successful and accessible to an array of patients.
Dr. Howard's hybrid clinic is a unique model where certified medical assistants manage the clinic, but the doctor visits are all done via video conferencing. Many other companies try to save money by staffing clinics with nurse practitioners or physician assistants. However, Dr. Howard believes that the better way is to leverage telemedicine so that the patient always sees a physician.
When patients come into the practice, the medical staff can take vital signs, administer vaccines, and draw blood. Then they bring the patient into an exam room with a large monitor where they can meet the doctor via video. Dr. Howard's hybrid clinic, called My Virtual Physician, is expected to be a disruptive force in the medical space. The office is available to take on new patients.