Within 3 days of its creation, the online group had accrued more than 80,000 members with advanced medical training, including MDs, DOs, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
“A lot of us were already very busy with our day-to-day work outside of COVID-19, and I think a lot of us felt unsure about where to get the best information,” said coadministrator David Janssen, MD, a family medicine physician in group practice in Sioux Center, Iowa,
“If you turn on the TV, there’s a lot of politicizing of the issue, and there’s a lot of good information, but also a lot of bad information. When health care providers talk to other health care providers, that’s often how we get our information and how we learn,” he said in an interview.
The COVID-19 U.S. Physicians/APP Facebook group includes 20 volunteer moderators who handle hundreds of posts per hour from persons seeking information on the novel coronavirus, what to tell patients, and how to protect themselves.
“It’s been wonderful to see how providers have been helping other providers sort through issues. Teaching hospitals have their hands on the latest research, but a lot of people like myself are at small community hospitals, critical-access hospitals, where we may have a lot of questions but don’t necessarily have the answers readily available to us,” Dr. Janssen said.
Dr. Janssen said that his community of about 8,000 residents initially had only four COVID-19 testing kits, or one for every 2,000 people. The situation has since improved, and more tests are now available, he added.
Dr. McIntyre, Dr. Janssen, and the Illinois family physician have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
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