Pulmonologist Matthew Moll, MD, on Improving Access to Comprehensive and Integrated Care

A board-certified pulmonologist from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Matthew Moll pursued a career in medicine after witnessing his parents struggle with chronic health conditions. Today, he practices at Brigham and Women's Hospital treating ailments of the lungs and respiratory systems, such as asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, complicated chest infections, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases including emphysema. He also conducts research to help improve the lives of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other pulmonary diseases. Last year, Dr. Moll joined Sitka Medical Associates to help primary care providers increase access to comprehensive care. In today’s spotlight, he discusses his experience with vConsults and his commitment to continue improving care coordination.

What inspired you to become a pulmonologist?

Initially, I pursued medicine because I witnessed my parents struggle with and lose work because of their chronic health conditions when I was a teenager. I was very interested in managing long-term conditions and diseases that can manifest in various ways in different people, as they did in my family. Committed to that mission, I graduated from medical school at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and completed my residency in internal medicine at Boston University Medical Center.

During residency, I saw many patients who were suffering from lung diseases. Although I had mild-to-moderate asthma and could easily find relief, this was not the case for most patients. Many pulmonary patients endure that shortness-of-breath feeling every day of their lives. I wanted to help people breathe better, so I pursued a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. There, I learned that medical science is limited when it comes to improving people’s breathing and there are many other external factors to consider. Therefore, I pursued an additional research fellowship at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Today, I see patients and help treat their conditions, but I also conduct research to help improve the lives of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other pulmonary diseases.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, what was your perception of vConsults and how has it changed?

While I have always been an advocate for leveraging state-of-the-art technology to improve patient care, access can be a challenge. I was an early adopter, but there were few platforms for effective and sustainable telemedicine consults until now.  A lot has changed in the last 20 months.

With Sitka, specialists can now review cases in-depth with the primary care doctors, which is often missing in traditional medical practice models. This coordination of care is critical for ensuring comprehensive and integrated care. Further, telemedicine platforms, like Sitka’s, allow for more frequent and easier access to expert specialists across the country. This interaction facilitates timely diagnosis and therapy and allows primary care doctors to know when an in-person specialist is needed.

Unique to Sitka is the asynchronous model. With vConsults, the specialist can respond asynchronously with a video within a 24-hour period. This allows specialists to work our full-time jobs and provide consultation to primary doctors after working hours.

How do you keep abreast of the latest developments in the healthcare industry?

I have my favorite journals I read throughout the week, which include the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, European Respiratory Journal, Thorax, and Chest. I also have several iPhone apps that help me keep up-to-date, including ResearchGate and Doximity.

What is one thing you hope will change for good within the healthcare industry?

There have been major developments in personalized medicine, in which we can tailor a patient’s treatment plan based on their genetics or other biological data. I hope these technologies become widely available and more accessible soon.


Interested in joining our team of virtual care specialists? Learn more about Sitka Medical Associates.