Dentists, Veterinarians, Opticians, What are they doing Now?

Compared to regular “Doctor-Doctors” there are very few "Other Medical Doctors"out there. After all there are a lot more medical schools than veterinarian schools out there.

Nonetheless, this is an emergency.

What are dentists, dermatologists and podiatrists doing to help out right now? What may they legally do? Can these rules be waived?

Our dentist is closed except for emergencies. Our vet is open, but you call when you get to the parking lot, they come get the animal and take it inside, and then deliver it back to you when they’re done.

You didn’t ask about physical therapists, but my husband is one, so I can add information about that! He does outpatient treatment at a standalone clinic. He primarily sees post-surgery and sports injuries. Their patient visits are currently down about 50% because of the cancellation of elective surgeries and people just not willing to come in. My husband discharged all of his vulnerable patients (elderly, immunocompromised) that were coming in for chronic issues and has given them home programs to do until they can come back in. He is working 20 hours per week and has been allowed to use his PTO to be paid for a full 40. They have furloughed two employees at his clinic.

EDIT: Sorry…I totally misunderstood your post, but see what you mean on reread. Outpatient PTs are not being called in to help in any way for Covid. I would imagine respiratory therapists will be needed for recovery.

Some of the local physical therapy groups have started virtual PT. They can explain the exercises and watch the patients do them.

Do not worry. I have found the clarity of my writing is declining for whatever reason.

Yes, I was wondering if dentists, vets and other such are pitching in during this crisis. Should they?

It is unclear what you mean by “waiving” rules, but the skills needed right now in the COVID-19 epidemic are very specific to emergency medicine and intensive care; specifically, respiratory support, anesthesia, and diagnosis of infectious disease. Dermatologists are real “Doctor-Doctors” and despite the common perception that all they are cosmetic treatments, they actually deal with serious medical issues including severe allergies, severe tissue burns, immunodermatology, cancers of the skin tissues, and dermatoepidemiology of infectious and parasitic pathogens which is a serious problem in the developed world. However, because they do not deal with respiratory or issues they lack the specializations and experience to work in an ICU environment (except for severe burn injuries). Ditto, obviously, for veterinarians, podiatrists, dentists, et cetera, none of whom have experience in intubation or caring for critically ill (human) patients in an ICU environment.

All of these non-critical care specialties and fields (save perhaps for vets) are suffering right now owing to an inability to fulfill many of their normal functions in direct contact with patients. So, while hospitality workers were the first wave of suddenly unemployed workers, people in this professions are also finding themselves without paychecks or payments from customers, and many of them have large overhead costs and equipment leases that aren’t going to stop while the epidemic rages. This is yet another reason to put a temporary halt on all rents, leases, loan payments, et cetera and offer debt relief and loan forgiveness for the duration of the crisis, lest the economic shockwave that follows results in tens of millions of people indefinitely unemployed and burdened with bankruptcy or bad credit ratings making them unable to get back upon their feet.


My personal trainer, who I hired to help me do my physical therapy, is still training me via google hangouts. She gave me links of stuff to buy, and she watches what I do and tells me when I’m not doing exercises correctly. (unfortunately common.) It’s working surprisingly well.

There’s still care that is needed in other areas. My uncle is dying at home (of not-covid), without medical support, because sending him to the hospital right now would certainly be a death sentence (he’s in North Jersey, the hospitals and their staff are all full of covid) and they can’t find qualified medical help to come to his home for things like IV fluids.

I’m sure there is someone who isn’t currently working who could do that, but the system isn’t set up to find those people.

Is that the term I want to use? Thank you.
A dermatologist or a podiatrist is a medical doctor. Surely there is much these people can do. Broken bones, renewal of prescriptions. putting in stitches. These folks are licensed for such things. Are they doing this? Ought they?
But again, I understand there are simply not a lot of these people.

Some of the local physical therapy groups have started virtual PT. They can explain the exercises and watch the patients do them.

My dentist is open, because I went in today to have the permanent cap installed after the root canal I’d had done in March. I also need to have some cavities treated, which will be sometime in June or July; I didn’t schedule them because I didn’t have my datebook with me and I knew I had a medical appointment sometime then.

Interestingly, when I got to the office there was a sign on the door telling me to knock for admittance, and that they were going o take my temperature.

A friend of mine is an ophthalmologist, last I heard he reduced his hours to one or two days a week. Presumably just seeing patients that can’t wait some unknown amount of time to see him.

I have a med that needs to be refilled, I know the doc is going to want to see me. I’m supposed to see him every 3 months for this med (it’s a CII) and somehow I’ve managed to go 6 months without seeing him. When I requested the refill online it got declined so I’m waiting for them to call me. I heard a rumor they might just be able to do a tele-appointment since it’s a refill and I’ve been on it forever.

By law, controlled drugs are handled differently. Even if your doctor were amenable to a tele-appointment, a CII drug can NOT be phoned or faxed to the pharmacy. You must get a hardcopy, paper prescription that has a “wet” signature. Pandemic ir no, I really doubt these restrictions will be waived.

Supposedly, the drug dealers are taking every advantage of these confusing times to move more product around the US. Doctors and patients need to be especially respectful of the controls imposed on these drugs. This coronavirus didn’t cancel out the opioid epidemic. It may have pushed it from the limelight, but the problems are still there.

I will be encountering my own doctor visit, probably next month, for a CII Rx. I’m a pain management patient.

Not true; there are now electronic prescriptions:

My dentist’s office is closed except for emergencies. My mom’s physical therapy office is still open on an extremely limited basis; she won’t be going to any appointments until this mess is over.

I’ve heard of some local veterinary practices donating supplies to hospitals; as far as I know they’re remaining open, with drop-off and pick-up as described upthread. NC State’s Veterinary Hospital is only seeing emergency cases now; they too have been donating supplies.

For my med, the group’s (that he works for, don’t know if it’s also law) requires him to see me every 3 months. In between those times I request the refill and then drive up there to pick up the script at the front desk. I can usually squeeze an extra month between appointments if I play it right, depending on which nurse is taking his messages that day. He’s okay with me pushing it as far as I can, one of his nurses is okay with it, but there’s another nurse that’s a stickler about it. I request refills on days she isn’t working.

That’s how it’s been for the last 5 years or so. Every month call and go pick up a script. Every three months, they tell me I need an appointment, I set it for a month out and they’ll write the refill for today (hence the extra month).

Last month, however, I requested the refill and it showed up at my pharmacy. Never had to pick up the paper copy. I asked them about it and they said as long as the pharmacy has his signature (e-signature?) on file, he can send anything over electronically now.
Anyway, that’s all to say that, yes, I do typically have to pick up a hard copy. The receptionist I talked to today when I was trying to figure out what was going on suggested they may just do an appointment over the phone. I imagine they’d prefer to keep as many people as possible out of their office. It wouldn’t surprise me if they let me skip a few ‘real’ appointments for just that reason. Nothing about this script is likely to change any time soon.
FWIW, my issue is the extra $500/year I have to hand over for a few 5 minute appointments.

Most therapists are now only doing video or phone appointments.

My dentist is closed except for emergencies. My vet is doing the “pick up and drop off at the car” thing. I had my first telemedicine appointment today. It’s very hard to check blood pressure or listen to the heart and lungs remotely but we are doing our best to keep patients safe.

My veterinary office is doing the same thing, possibly with an exception made for euthanasias. My cats eat a prescription food, and I stopped by to pick some up early today; I phoned in my order, and also called them from the parking lot, and one of the vet techs came out in a face mask and gloves, with a Baggie for my check.

That’s the national law. The state law may be stricter.

In Wisconsin (and probably other states that have something similar) have said that any Food Safety licenses that expire right now, will remain valid until this is over and they figure something out. In general, we have to take an 8 hour, in person class, with a proctored exam at the end of it.
Honestly, I’m surprised they did it this way instead of just allowing online (and open book) exams. Even if they knocked the price down said it would only be valid for 1 year instead of 5. Makes me think even the state realizes it’s kind of expensive ($170 last I checked) and not all that worthwhile for people that have been through it multiple times already.

I’m not sure how/if they’re even handling new applicants as opposed to renewals.

I think we can say that non-critical care specialties and fields have not rushed off to hospitals as I would have thought. Thank you all.