Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Goetz, Cindy


The healthcare system in the United States is struggling to meet the needs of a growing patient population amidst the burden of provider shortages and rising costs, where no simple or easy answer exists. However, telemedicine has emerged as a possible solution with well documented benefits such as increasing provider coverage and saving costs. Despite the proven benefits, many people do not use telemedicine and there is little data to answer why it is underutilized. Therefore, this study sought to understand the public’s perception of telemedicine service. It was hypothesized that gender, age, number of children in the household, education level, and area of residence are variables that could impact telemedicine use. In this study a survey was designed and distributed to participants at the Richfield Wellness Expo, located in Richfield, MN. The survey asked participants questions about demographics, telemedicine usage frequency, and reasons why the participant chooses to use or not use telemedicine. Chi square analysis was utilized to determine if relationships existed between demographics and telemedicine usage as reasoning for using or not using telemedicine. Results indicated that the only variable impacting a person’s telemedicine usage was geographic location; participants living in a rural area were significantly more likely to use telemedicine (P=0.03). The most common reasons for not using telemedicine were that participants did not know how to access it, were unsure if their insurance covered it, or preferred to be seen in person for their healthcare. Due to the demographic, geographic and time constraint limitations on this study, further research should be done to further understand telemedicine usage. However, study results suggest that focused public information campaigns may be needed to increase awareness, understanding, and access to telemedicine.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons