Online or telephonic doctor appointments allow you to reach your doctor with your tablet, smartphone, computer, or a simple cellular mobile. Interacting with a doctor remotely will give you a different experience altogether but in no way it will be anything less than a physical face-to-face appointment at a doctor’s clinic or a hospital.
Before booking an online doctor appointment, you need to make sure that you have a working technological setup necessary for the appointment.
However, the requirements are quite simple as they include a device, working internet connection, and speed which is good enough for an audio/video call.
All in all, your doctor will cover your medical history, diagnose your ailments, and suggest a treatment plan and medicines. Let us cover each of them in a bit of detail.
4 Things That Happen During Online Appointments
1. Patient History
In an online doctor appointment, the doctor asks for your medical history which includes any ongoing medication, basic readings like BP, heart-rate, sugar level, and they also ask about any previous surgeries and disorders.
The doctor may also ask about your daily lifestyle to figure out the right approach to treatment.
After analyzing your medical history, your online doctor will come to the next stage of interaction, i.e., diagnosis. In cases where your doctor will feel that he can take care of your ailment through an online interaction only by suggesting a course of medicine and treatment, he will go ahead with the next step.
However, in cases in which he will feel that there’s something severe that needs to be looked after by a specialist in the field, he will advise you to consult an expert.
Also, he can prescribe you some tests to get a clear idea about the ailment. It is a good practice to give maximum information to your doctor for him to understand things better and figure out a better treatment plan.
Post diagnosis, you can expect your doctor to come up with a treatment plan, or generally a medicine prescription, depending upon your condition. For patients dealing with orthopaedic or muscular ailments, they might also suggest a physiotherapy course.
The difference between the usual and online doctor appointments lies in the fact that an online doctor will try his best to help you get rid of your problem without requiring you to see him again due to many factors, time constraints being one of the primary ones.
One of the best things about online doctor appointments is that they are completely personalized and you will be very comfortable talking to an online doctor.
An online doctor appointment usually ends with a signed prescription note from your doctor. The prescription is usually more detailed than the ones you get after usual appointments. The doctors mention the following fields in your prescription:
- Name and age of the patient
- Associated ailment
- Medicines prescribed
- Medicine timeline
- Food specifics and lifestyle changes (if any)
Overall, you can use the medication prescription, either to order your medicine online or you can visit the pharmacy stores for the same.
Prescription Restrictions In Online Appointment
In online doctor appointments and the associated medicine prescriptions, there are some restrictions on certain items. In other words, there are some controlled and prohibited substances that your doctor cannot prescribe in an online appointment.
Although the majority of those substances are banned altogether from prescribing to any patient, in the case of online consultancy, there are some written rules to be followed.
Therefore, if you require a prescription for any of the following substances, then you have to see a doctor in person:
- Medicinal marijuana
- Sleeping pills
- Antipsychotic medications
- Certain antidepressants
In addition to it, there are some other exceptions like sexual stimulants where you might have to see your doctor in person to get a particular category of medicine prescribed from them.
Limitations Of Online Doctor Appointments
There are certain limitations to an online doctor visit and they are such cases where the doctor needs to physically examine or attend to your wound for treatment.
For example, burns and injuries, fractures, sprains, bruises, etc. It isn’t so that you cannot visit an online doctor for dermatological issues, but there are some of them which need physical examination from an expert.
There’s no denying the fact that consulting a doctor online is as simple as chatting with your friend over a video call.
However, it always helps to verify the authenticity and reputation of the app or the website from where you are going to book an online appointment with your doctor.
Apart from it, you need to understand that online or telephonic conversation is a bit different from face-to-face interaction, and therefore, you need to open up before your doctor and tell him/her everything that he needs to know.