Seeing a Doctor Online? Here’s What You Should Know
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I think none of us imagined that we’d spend 2020 in the middle of a pandemic. Luckily, though, today’s technology allows us to go through these difficult times much easier than we would have in the previous decades.
Considering how many people are at risk for developing complications from COVID-19, virtual medical assistance is probably the most valuable tool we have today. Now you can consult a doctor about any concerns at any hour and even receive medical prescriptions, which is a major improvement on both sides.
Although such services existed in the past as well, more and more clinics are offering this option since the pandemic started.
Today, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions in terms of seeing a doctor online.
How does it work?
Unless there’s an emergency, it’s advisable that you schedule your virtual session by entering the website of your clinic. Some websites may require you to fill in your current symptoms and which kind of specialty help you need to make the right appointment.
Otherwise, the actual meeting works just as it would in person. The specialist will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms and medical history. If they suspect complications, though, they can recommend investigation which can only be done in person. Once again, many clinics offer the option of scheduling such investigations online in order to minimize health risks.
How long would it take to see a doctor?
This highly depends on the clinic and specialization you require. However, because every visit is much more organized virtually, getting the help you need is definitely faster than it would be in person.
Statistics showed that 1 in 7 Canadians are waiting more than a week to see their family doctor, which can aggravate their symptoms. Generally, though, it shouldn’t be more than a few days until your visit is scheduled.
What can your doctor treat virtually?
The best part about online medical appointments is that your doctor can treat up to 70% of non-urgent conditions virtually. This can include a wide range of UTIs and STIs and even some chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or IBD. Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor may even be able to write you a prescription and send it via email.
What about long-term illnesses?
Your medical history is crucial for receiving proper treatment, especially if you’ve been having long-term health problems. Many clinics offer the option of uploading your medical history so that your doctor can look at it directly before the consultation. This is especially beneficial if you’ve been seeing the same specialist for a longer time so they have all the record at hand.
Have you ben seeing a doctor online since the pandemic started? What was your experience with this relatively new range of services? Let us know in the comment section!