Telemedicine is emerging in healthcare. If you do an internet search you can find several companies where you can schedule a visit and see a physician instantly for a low cash price. It seems like a great deal, does it not?
The biggest issue however, is that it is NOT your own doctor. If you don't list all of your medications or medical problems in the pre-visit question section, the physician you see is missing information that may be critical to your care. Furthermore, you not sure what type of physician you are getting because you have not met them, do they practice the type of medicine you want to have? Is there a better solution when it comes to telemedicine?
Direct Primary Care + Telemedicine = Quality, Convenient Care
Direct Primary Care is an emerging membership model throughout the country. At its core is the premise that you have direct access to your doctor when you need it. You get to meet your doctor and see if they are right for you. You doctor gets to know you before you have an issue. If you get sick afterhours and weekends, a direct primary care doctor uses a telemedicine visit to care for your needs from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to make sure you've entered everything in the computer because you doctor knows you. The visits are fast, convenient and very satisfying.
Regardless of your Telemedicine choice, there are a few things I do recommend doing to prepare for your visit:
1) Get a Thermometer. Check your temperature. A lot of decisions when you are sick with an upper respitory infection depend upon whether you have a fever.
2) Get a blood pressure machine. This is especially true if you have any heart or blood pressure issues. Knowing your blood pressure can go a long way in making decisions.
3) Be open to an alternative diagnosis. You've done your research on the internet and you are absolutely sure you know the diagnosis and just want to a quick prescription medication. Sound familiar? Remember, the sign of a good doctor is to entertain the unusual to be sure you are not missing something else. Be patient with any questioning that they may provide and be open if they think something else is going on or ask you to follow-up with your own physician in a few days.
4) Realize that not everything can be done on-line. Abdominal pain, skin abscesses and dizziness issues are just a few things that are best still seen in person. Be open to the on-line doctor telling you that you need to go in somewhere to be seen. A good physician's credo is "do no harm", so often it is a wise decision to recommend a visit in person even if it turns out to be nothing serious. It is always better to error on the cautious even if inconvenient side when it comes to protecting your health.
Optimize Your Health, Simplify Your Life
Dr Sharyl Truty MD
Find out more about Direct Primary Care in Jacksonville, the Beaches, & Ponte Vedra at BalancedPhysicianCare.com