We’ve all been there. You’ve just started a new job when you recognize the familiar twinges of a urinary tract infection, but you can’t seem to get your work schedule to mesh with that of your primary care physician.
You’ve waited all year for your annual vacation, and you get to the hotel and notice your throat is starting to hurt but have no idea where to find the nearest restaurant, never mind a clinic where you can get a prescription for an antibiotic.
Maybe you need to refill your thyroid medication, but you just can’t find the time to physically go to your doctor’s office while caring for the kids and juggling a full-time job.
Scheduling, long wait times, and cost are all factors when deciding when to book an appointment with your doctor and can be the roadblocks standing in between us, and good health – but there’s a way around that, and it might surprise you to learn – it’s been around for decades!
It’s called telemedicine.
Telemedicine is defined as the act of diagnosing, evaluating or treating medical conditions by way of telecommunications. Years ago, that meant calling your doctor on the rotary telephone (we just lost half the audience) and explaining what ails you. Then he or she would offer guidance on how to treat it and if needed would call in a prescription to a pharmacy near you.
Thanks to advances in technology; diagnosing illness, managing chronic conditions, assessing injuries and gaining access to a doctor, and to your prescriptions is now more convenient than ever. Medications for diabetes, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infections and more are currently being prescribed online and by phone daily without patients ever setting foot inside a crowded, germ-filled waiting room!
Using a wide variety of texting apps and video chat platforms, doctors are prescribing the medications their patients need with ease and at less expense.
Not all doctors are willing or able to offer telemedicine. Heavy patient loads, lack of reimbursement from insurance companies and limited time and resources are some of the reasons that not all physicians can offer this service.
In order to get the medications you need without dragging yourself off to an appointment, you’ll need a doctor committed to practicing telemedicine or better yet – a Virtual Direct Primary Care Physician who will offer you the broad-spectrum coverage and personal level of care that you are accustomed to finding in a traditional physician’s office, without any of the frustration.
I’ve previously detailed many different types of care that can be offered by Virtual Direct Primary Care here.
Gathering at the virtual intersection of medicine and technology, a growing number of patients are learning that they can get the care and medication they need – without the headache (but if you get a headache, we could take of that virtually as well).