A Guide to Finding an Online Doctor.
Virtual healthcare services are a relatively recent innovation and development in improving patient care and providing a safe, viable, and accessible alternative to a traditional doctor’s appointment. If you’re experiencing a non-emergency medical concern or a common health issue, it is easy to set up a consultation with an online doctor that is fast and user-friendly. As the internet and smartphones become a more common part of our everyday lives, online doctors will only become more prevalent.
Online doctor services were originally created to assist those in rural areas who didn’t have access to adequate care all over the globe. However, nowadays, telehealth is an affordable and popular option for people anywhere. Especially in the recent past, following the coronavirus global pandemic, seeing an online doctor. instead of visiting a traditional doctor’s office is an ideal option that can limit your exposure to other sick people. The convenience of a virtual doctor is unmatched, as many telehealth providers have immediate appointments available, and you don’t have to plan transportation or schedule an appointment months in advance like you would have to do in order to go see a traditional primary care doctor.
What is an Online Doctor?
It is a myth that you need to see a doctor in person to receive adequate treatment or get the medication you need. An online doctor, otherwise known as a “virtual healthcare provider,” is a term used to describe health practitioners that deliver medical care and support over the internet. It’s part of a field called “telehealth,” which is rapidly changing and growing. It started out as a way to help people in rural areas and the elderly who can’t easily get to a doctor’s office get health care. Telehealth is typically an umbrella term under which telemedicine falls and can be used to describe medical care that is given through a smartphone application, a website, the telephone, text, or another video or communication source.
The internet is a major source of information and communication technologies, and healthcare advice and guides are one of the most popularly searched topics around the world. Online doctors and virtual health consultations have become popular internet healthcare solutions that offer many advantages when compared to traditional doctors—they are cost-effective, convenient, and private. Online doctors are just as qualified as the ones you visit in person, but they are best for non-emergency medical situations and conditions, such as minor bacterial infections. They are also a great resource for people managing chronic illnesses or conditions who need to get their prescriptions refilled often and offer the ease and convenience of getting a prescription quickly.
Types of Services Available from an Online Doctor
The types of services offered will vary depending on the telehealth provider that you choose. There’s a range of services that online doctors offer, most of which are for common ailments or minor concerns. Unfortunately, physicians treating you online cannot write prescriptions for controlled substances such as Adderall for ADHD treatment or Xanax to treat panic disorders and anxiety problems. Other conditions or illnesses may require lab testing or diagnostic imaging, and not every telehealth provider offers these services. You may have to visit a doctor in person in order to diagnose and treat an illness, and you will likely have to continue treatment with your primary care physician.
With recent regulation changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most states have made it possible for doctors to virtually diagnose and prescribe a multitude of illnesses and conditions. However, certain local or state laws may prohibit what an online doctor is able to treat or prescribe.
If you are experiencing a minor health concern that is not an emergency, there are several types of services available and conditions that can be treated by an online doctor, generally including:
- Treating minor illnesses and uncomfortable symptoms of conditions such as allergies, insect bites, respiratory infections, asthma, and bladder infections
- Diagnosing and prescribing treatment for skin concerns like rashes, infections, acne, and rosacea
- Treating common conditions like a sore throat, cold sores, the cold and flu, and urinary tract infections
- Providing counseling and therapy options for grief and loss, relationship issues, etc.
- Suggesting a treatment solution and/or prescribing appropriate medication to treat your medical condition or concern, in most cases
- Prescription drug refills
- Informational and educational appointments to explain how to use a medical tool, such as an asthma inhaler
- Routine follow-up visits, like after surgery
Pros and Cons of an Online Doctor
Pros of Using an Online Doctor
Telemedicine is cutting-edge technology that is now accessible and affordable to the general population. It is an easy option for convenient care, especially for those who want to waste less time and get immediate attention for a range of health concerns.
- Most telehealth platforms will have immediate appointments open, with an option to schedule an appointment that fits into your schedule.
- Many telemedicine providers offer 24/7 access to medical care for patients.
- Online doctors typically operate in a patient-centered model and will provide fast and immediate care centralized on you and your specific concerns. Because you can connect more frequently and conveniently with doctors, patients can feel comfortable knowing that all of their questions and concerns are answered and addressed.
- Online doctor consultations are secure and private, so you don’t have to wait in a doctor’s office or face the crowds in emergency rooms. They take place in the privacy of your own home, and the information can be kept between you and the doctor or shared with your primary care physician in a safe way that ensures your data is kept private.
- Telehealth platform networks typically include specialists and expert clinical staff to ensure that you have access to the best quality of care, even if your health concern is a special case. This makes it easy for specialists from all over the country to consult with you about your specific symptoms and medical concerns, no matter where you are.
Cons of Using an Online Doctor
Because of the virtual nature of an online doctor consultation, there are some barriers that may affect an accurate and fast diagnosis and treatment.
- Because they cannot perform a physical evaluation, it is possible that a symptom could be missed and something more serious could be overlooked. Thankfully, telehealth is only growing in popularity and will likely see new technological advancements to improve these virtual interactions and make it an even more effective and accessible solution for the general population.
- Online doctors are not a substitute or replacement for a primary care provider, nor are they appropriate for treating emergency or life-threatening situations. If you are bleeding, experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or a stroke, or experiencing another severe condition, do not hesitate to get in-person treatment and seek immediate help from your doctor or dial 911. Virtual doctors cannot perform comprehensive physical exams, so they cannot treat and diagnose complex conditions.
- Telehealth providers also may not be able to help every patient, and specific rules and regulations vary from platform to platform. Some telehealth websites and apps will not treat children presenting specific symptoms, STDs, UTIs in males or females under the age of 18, and other special conditions or circumstances. You must schedule an in-person consultation with a local trusted healthcare provider in order to address these concerns and receive an accurate diagnosis.
How to Find an Online Doctor.
Telehealth providers provide online access to licensed doctors, physicians, and specialists all over the country. They will connect you in real time to a real person who will discuss your symptoms and past health history and give you a fast and reliable diagnosis.
There aren’t many downsides to using telehealth providers to diagnose your common or minor medical conditions and concerns. Virtual medicine is a convenient, easy, and affordable alternative to an urgent care facility, a trip to the emergency room, or a traditional doctor’s visit. Finding an online doctor. is quite easy, and there are several telehealth providers that you can choose from.
If you are experiencing minor, but uncomfortable or worrying symptoms, such as a respiratory infection or eye irritation, you can research telehealth or virtual doctor consultations online. Online doctors are probably available to connect and discuss your medical concerns right now. All you need is your personal information, a personal smartphone or computer, a connection to the internet, and a source for payment. Because the appointment occurs over the internet, there are countless options and providers. When you choose a telehealth company, ensure that it is a trusted source that employs only licensed, board-certified doctors and staff. It is also important to ensure that the video-conferencing tools are HIPAA-compliant and that the provider uses a secure platform to protect your data and privacy. You may want to consider a platform that is user-friendly and integrated, where you can easily access your information and schedule.
Before choosing a telehealth provider to sign up with, consider if you want it to be open all 24 hours of the day. Not every provider provides 24/7 access to medical care as a part of their services. You also may want to consider if the provider hires experienced doctors and verify that the telehealth provider does a background check on their employees to verify medical licensure and education, as well as work and malpractice history. Their telehealth providers should also have gone through specialized training with the American Telemedicine Association. You may also want to consider other awards and certifications, from companies such as the National Committee for Quality Insurance.
Ideally, you should have both a primary care doctor and a telemedicine provider, both of whom combined will be able to support your needs and still fit into a busy schedule. Your local or state legislation may vary in terms of their laws regulating telemedicine and online prescription services, so please check with local guidelines and legalities before utilizing a telehealth service. The cost of an online doctor’s appointment will vary depending on your insurance coverage, and you should check with your insurance provider to determine the benefits and price of a virtual consultation. You may want to compare the out-of-pocket costs of your traditional doctor’s appointment to a virtual one to decide if an online doctor. is the right medical solution for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I schedule an appointment with an online doctor?
You must start by choosing a telemedicine provider. After you choose a website platform, you’ll likely be asked to fill out personal information like your name, birthday, and insurance plan if you have one, and will create an account. Then, you can schedule an appointment easily. Most telemedicine providers have immediate appointments available, or you can schedule one that is convenient for you. When it is time for your appointment, you can log on to the virtual consultation on your phone or computer, and the online doctor or healthcare provider will discuss your symptoms and determine a diagnosis and treatment solution.
Is an online doctor. safe?
Absolutely! Online doctors are fully trained, licensed, and board-certified medical professionals with the accreditations necessary to treat patients, diagnose symptoms, and prescribe medications. When you’re choosing which telehealth website to use, always ensure that it is a trustworthy and secure provider with great customer satisfaction reviews.
How much does an online doctor cost?
Online doctor consultations are typically an affordable solution for most people. In fact, millions of insurance programs and employers already offer telemedicine coverage. The cost of the consultation will also depend on which provider you use and what medical concerns you need addressed. For example, psychiatric appointments addressing mental health concerns such as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety, will typically cost around $200, whereas a more general consultation about the flu can be free under certain insurance plans. Many telemedicine providers offer patients a low, flat-rate fee for a consultation with a virtual physician for as little as $15, but further treatments and medications may be more expensive.
A Trustworthy and Professional Online Doctor
If you’re ready to try virtual healthcare services, you may be wondering where to find the right online doctor and how to choose from the countless telehealth services online. All you need to talk to a doctor in the next 10 minutes is a personal phone or computer and a connection to the internet. Your virtual consultation is literally waiting at your fingertips.
When choosing your telehealth provider, think about choosing Telegra MD. Telegra MD is the best, most trustworthy option that you know you can count on for your and your family’s non-emergency medical concerns. With a team of board-certified and state-licensed medical staff who are on-call 24/7 to help you, you will never have to hesitate when a minor medical concern makes your life uncomfortable.
If you’ve never tried using online doctor services before, you may be nervous to try them for the first time. The Telegra MD doctors, dermatologists, and therapists are caring, and friendly, and they can offer fast and easy consultations and treatments for over 50 minor illnesses. Don’t wait to get the medical treatments and prescriptions you need. Schedule a virtual consultation today.