Too often, when people need medical care quickly — especially at night or on weekends — there’s only been one option: Head to an emergency department or urgent care facility and prepare to wait.
Now there’s another option: NYU Langone Virtual Urgent Care, which allows existing and new patients to see a medical professional online, where they can diagnose and treat the majority of cases. We sat down with Victoria Leybov, MD, Medical Director for Virtual Urgent Care at NYU Langone Health to learn more.
I’ve heard about Virtual Urgent Care, but can it really help me if the doctor isn’t there in person to examine me?
Yes, there are many conditions that we are fully capable of evaluating virtually. As an emergency medicine physician, I see a lot of patients come in-person who could have scheduled a virtual urgent care visit instead, saving themselves a trip and possibly the wait.
With NYU Langone Virtual Urgent Care, we have a very well-trained team of high-quality providers who are able to assess patients — including children — remotely for a wide variety of symptoms, making diagnoses and recommending treatments just as well as they could in-person.
This includes treating most upper respiratory infections, like the common cold, flu and COVID-19. Handling these evaluations virtually also prevents patients from infecting others or even needing to leave the house while they’re sick.
Other things, like food poisoning, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or urinary tract infections can also be assessed and treated by Virtual Urgent Care. Even sprains and strains, rashes or other minor injuries can be assessed, allowing you or a family member to remain in the comfort of your own home.
Whether you visit us in person or virtually, you can expect one consistently high standard of care in every interaction with our highly experienced and qualified team. Our physicians will review each patient’s medical history, conduct a virtual physical exam and even prescribe medications or order testing as needed.
Additionally, if patients have any questions after their visit, they can always reach a provider by messaging us. Since Virtual Urgent Care is a part of our wider system, every patient’s medical information is in one, secure place within the NYU Langone Health portal. This allows us to smoothly refer patients to highly trained specialists within our network.
Doesn’t it make more sense to just go to the ED and wait? When SHOULD I go to the ED in person?
There are definitely some things you should go to the emergency department for as soon as you can. For example, chest pain or stroke-like symptoms, such as slurred speech or weakness on one side of the face or body, should be evaluated in the emergency department right away. Traumatic injuries, like a bad fall, always require in-person evaluation as well.
The vast majority of our Virtual Urgent Care providers are emergency medicine physicians and know exactly what needs to be evaluated in the emergency department and what can be treated virtually. If you need to come in, they’ll be sure to tell you.
Rest assured, even after you log out of a session, we will help you get follow-up care as needed. Patients can follow up with questions or seek further care through our app, just like after any other doctor’s appointment. It’s critically important to us that Virtual Urgent Care provides patients with not just a convenient option, but a high-quality and effective patient care experience.
If you or your child have a minor medical concern and need care today, you can schedule a Virtual Urgent Care video visit with a provider. Adults and children age 5 and older can video chat with a care provider while at home, at work or on the go— from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida.
For emergencies, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency care location. Learn more about what to expect during a visit by going online or calling 929-455-6409.
Victoria Leybov, MD, is the medical director of Virtual Urgent Care, and the system chief of Emergency Medicine Telehealth at NYU Langone Health. She is also a clinical assistant professor in the Ronal O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She oversees Virtual Urgent Care and emergency department telemedicine across NYU Langone Health.