The Doctor Is In

How to Get A Medical Consultation Without Leaving Home



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The most common patient ailments reported by MDLIVE patients: sinus infections, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.

MDLIVE isn’t meant to replace an emergency room visit or a person’s regular doctor, but you can schedule a conversation with a particular doctor if you choose. You might feel comfortable if a friend or family member recommends a certain doctor, or if you’ve personally spoken to one before. If time doesn’t allow for scheduling an appointment, as is usually the case, a doctor will be assigned to you.

Not many people are comfortable yet with requesting a video-chat consult. It could be that they feel a touch embarrassed by their non-showered state or their pajamas because they’re home sick, Hudgens speculates. Another possibility? They call from their car during a break at work, seeking some privacy away from co-workers.

Or it could just be a matter of getting used to the idea of video consultations.

“I think back a few years ago,” Hudgens says. “We didn’t know much about urgent care centers. I remember my dad calling them ‘docs in a box’ and not wanting to go. Now they’re used often, and no one thinks twice about it. That can be the future for video conferencing with doctors.”

Until that time, phone conferences are more than fine. Both patients and doctors seem to be benefitting from MDLIVE voice calls.

“One of our doctors who participates with MDLIVE told me how she feels it’s made her a better listener—to both the patient’s words and his or her symptoms, like raspy breathing,” says Hudgens.

In the future, patients might “see” a specialist in their primary care physician’s office. After a regular visit with the primary care doctor, or during the visit, a specialist could consult via video. Another possibility Hudgens sees is for post-surgery patients. Instead of interrupting their recovery and placing a burden on them to arrange transportation, a surgeon might conduct a follow-up visit by video.

“We’re seeing growth with MDLIVE and all the possibilities for the future,” Hudgens says.