Online physician consultation platforms have evolved since the 1980’s when first pioneered by the U.S. Army. Today, online interaction is almost seamless with the proliferation of the Internet and smartphones making audio, video, and high resolution graphics easily integrated into a user friendly online experience. Additionally, the lack of medical personnel in rural or developing areas support the need for medical advice from a distance. This article will explain you how to maximize your online physician experience.
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One of the challenges unique to telemedicine for potential patients is organizing the information that may need to be communicated to a physician. Physicians and allied health professionals need certain information depending on the area of concern and training. So, let's examine how you can get the most out of an online consultation with regard to RingMD.
Firstly, one needs to select a physician.
Navigate to the physician directory — I recommend browsing the list with attention to specialty area, geographic location, and any other criteria which is important to you. Physicians are divided into primary care and specialist. Family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics are considered primary care and the doctors to go to for routine medical issues that arise. In general, internal medicine is for adults and pediatrics is for children. Then family practice physicians often see adults and children. Surgical issues are best seen by general surgeons or the appropriate subspecialist. And of course, recommendations from friends and relatives can be invaluable in selecting a doctor.
When you find a physician that you're interested in, don't forget to read their profile page to ensure that you and the physician are a good match (see more tips on how to find the right physician or therapist for you here).
Once you have selected a physician, send a message to the physician stating your desire for a consultation.
Introduce yourself briefly with a short paragraph with your name, age, date of birth, gender, reason for consultation, and desired date and time. Once the doctor has agreed to accept your request, select ‘consultation’ from the options and pay the fee required. Once a consultation request has been sent, the physician will be able to send a date and time for an online conversation.
The physician will have several questions to ask you, so prepare a brief medical summary.
This information will help your physician to efficiently tailor the questions and the consultation.
Items to include in your medical history are:
- onset, duration, location, nature of medical issue;
- any treatments tried so far and if the treatments were successful;
- any past laboratory or diagnostic tests done;
- significant past medical history and surgical history; and
- list any medications currently administered and allergies to which you are susceptible.
Finally, remember to follow up with the physician with results of any recommendations.
Medical consultations are a dynamic process whereby recommendations and differential diagnoses are revised as more information is known. It is important to send a message to your physician anytime the medical issue has changed in any way. May your online experience be a great one!
Christopher D. Phillips MD, FACP is an internationally recognized neurologist specializing in stem cell treatments of neurodegenerative diseases. His expertise includes MS, headache, stroke, epilepsy, and movement disorders. Contact him directly through his profile here.
We're trying to make healthcare more accessible and convenient for everyone. In some places, like Singapore, this means making your primary care experience much more convenient. Why leave home to find a doctor if you don't have to? You can speak with a doctor online on RingMD. Avoid sick people in busy waiting rooms and skip the traffic jam. Consult a doctor online, right now! When appropriate, the doctor is able to provide you with a signed Medical Certificate (MC) if you need one for work or school reasons. In other places, such as rural India, this means helping people see doctors for the first time in their lives. We think this is important stuff.
We're also focusing on increasing access to mental health care. If you're thinking "I need a therapist near me" but don't know where to start, try the RingMD therapist directory. We will help you find the right therapist for YOU!
Lastly, if you're a doctor or wellness expert considering offering virtual care services, here are some arguments to consider. Thousands of people a month, in Singapore alone, search for things like "doctors near me" or "gp near me", if you're looking to grow your practice this is a great way to do it.