Q&A with Dr. Lisa Thompson

Q&A with Dr. Lisa Thompson

Dr. Lisa Thompson is a provider on Amwell with more than 20 years of experience. After graduating from the University of Michigan, she studied medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She specializes in emergency medicine and hospice and palliative care. Regardless of the kind of care you need, Dr. Thompson provides careful, thoughtful support. Want to learn more? Check out our Q&A below! 

Q: When did you first decide you wanted to be a doctor?

A: My mom used to tell me that from the time I could talk, I talked about being a doctor!  I remember being around five or six years old and reading about doctors at school.

Q: Why did you pursue a career in telemedicine?

A: I first learned about telemedicine while I was working for a home-based palliative care agency in Phoenix. I was the only doctor for a 900+ patient panel. My patients were all over the metro Phoenix area and it was hard to see them when different situations arose. The agency I worked for did a pilot study with a technology company that had developed a “virtual exam room”. This became an indispensable tool.  Nurses and other members of my team could call me when they were doing a home visit and had an urgent issue that needed my attention. I would pull my car over, open my laptop and I was there, in an instant. It was also great for having family meetings and discussions with other providers involved in the patients’ care. Practicing medicine on Amwell became a logical progression for my career because it allows me to use my skills and it fits with what I value most about the practice of medicine, which is making healthcare accessible to everyone without limitations.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve received?

A: I think the best life advice came from my mom, which I apply to my personal life as well as to my professional life: ‘Experience is the best teacher” and “Treat everyone the way you would want your own family to be treated no matter who they are and do it without judgment.” Another piece of excellent advice came from a patient I took care of a few years ago during my fellowship training in hospice and palliative medicine, which I keep in mind every time I speak with patients. To truly understand how a patient is feeling about, or coping with, a problem you need to listen very carefully and not put what they tell you into your own words or perspective.

Q: What are the greatest joys of your work?

A: I really get a kick out of patients who are using the system for the first-time. They are uniformly impressed by how easy and convenient it is to use. I especially like when they show off their screen to family or friends as we are ending our visit. It’s really enjoyable to talk to patients and hear their stories; the fact that I am under no time constraints while I am talking to patients is so liberating — it allows me to take all the time I need to communicate with them.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I have several interests. I live in Manhattan so I love going for walks through Central Park. I also enjoy cooking and watching foreign and independent film. I belong to a group of mosaicists and we meet regularly to create projects. I work primarily with glass and ceramic pieces. I also love to write. I have partially completed a screenplay and I get together periodically with a group of other writers to work on poetry and short stories.

Q: What was the last book you read without skipping through anything?

A: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and The 12 Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis.  Thanks to the Kindle app on my iPad, I can be what I call a “schizophrenic reader” and read several things at the same time depending on my mood. It is so much better than the way it used to be when I had several books with book marks hanging out of them all over the house.

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