Consultations with a Web Doctor
A web doctor may not have been your go-to solution in the past, but it actually has quite a lot of benefits. You may not always be able to get in to see your primary care provider when you’re feeling unwell or sick, and you may have to wait hours in a crowded line in order to see a doctor at an urgent care facility or emergency room. You may be feeling like there must be an easier solution to treat your minor concerns. That’s where telemedicine comes in to save the day because it can connect you to a real, board-certified web doctor to talk through your concerns.
We use the internet for everything, from online shopping for clothes and groceries to booking travel accommodations, Wi-Fi capabilities, and technological innovations have welcomed a new era of convenience, including telemedicine. Telemedicine is defined as the use of remote telecommunication and digital information technologies to provide and access healthcare services. It was originally created to make healthcare accessible to rural communities and those who are homebound, such as the elderly and people struggling with PTSD. The web doctors who work for telemedicine websites and mobile apps specialize in diagnosing and treating common and non-emergency illnesses and conditions remotely.
What Is a “Web Doctor”?
A web doctor, otherwise known as a virtual or online doctor, is a real-life person who is board-certified and licensed to provide healthcare services remotely using telecommunication technologies. They are equally qualified, if not more, to treat your medical concerns. Virtual health consultations have changed the world of healthcare, making it a painless, user-friendly, convenient alternative to visiting your primary care provider.
The services offered on a telehealth or telemedicine platform depend on the provider, platform, or website a patient chooses to use. Online doctors are not meant to replace your primary care physician, nor are they appropriate for emergency or life-threatening situations. Web doctors can, however, treat your minor and irritating symptoms, or help you manage a chronic condition.
Generally, the conditions, symptoms, and concerns that a virtual doctor can treat include:
- Skin concerns, such as rosacea, warts, acne, or rashes
- Ear infections
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Sore throat
- Remote patient monitoring for conditions such as diabetes
- Respiratory infections
- Pink eye
- Cold and flu
- Body aches and pains, such as a toothache or minor back pain
- Cold sores
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Grief and loss
- Insect bites
- Arthritic pain
- Mental health concerns, such as bipolar disorder, PTSD, and depression
- Behavioral issues
- Writing certain prescriptions and/or refilling prescriptions*
*Most online providers cannot write prescriptions for DEA-controlled substances due to local and national legislation. Check with the telemedicine provider to find out exactly what they can prescribe.
Benefits of Consultations with an Online Doctor
Telemedicine is a viable and legitimate alternative to in-person medical care. As long as you choose a trustworthy website, receiving treatment from a web doctor is safe, easy to do, and faster than a classic doctor’s office visit would be. The convenience is unmatched, especially because telemedicine providers provide around-the-clock care, every day of the year. And you don’t have to schedule an appointment months before, you will be able to see a web doctor faster. Telemedicine providers can also give you access to specialized care that you may not have been able to receive if not for the telecommunication technologies.
Going to see a doctor in person can cost hundreds of dollars, and the emergency room costs are even higher. If you have something minor and common, you don’t need to go see a doctor in person. Online doctors can provide the same treatment at a significantly lower price. Most consultations with telemedicine providers are under $100. Because virtual doctors don’t have to see all the patients in an office, they are also less rushed. Many patients will leave the consultation feeling like all of their questions have been answered, and some feel that they receive more focused and individualized care from online doctors.
How to Talk to A Web Doctor
There are multiple ways to connect live with an online doctor. The only things you need to schedule and have your appointment are a stable connection to Wi-Fi and your phone, tablet, computer, or laptop. Every telehealth provider has different platforms to connect you with a doctor, including online live chat, text, email, phone call (voice-only), and videoconferencing, and the exact ones offered will vary from service to service. Other factors to consider that vary from provider to provider include their pricing models and membership plans, as well as their specialty care services and the design and integration of their platform.
Once you have decided on a telemedicine provider, the steps to continue the process will vary. The home page of the provider may give you detailed and specific instructions, but most likely, you will have to set up an account and register on the website or app with a few personal details. Then you can proceed to their patient platform and find the schedule or calendar. There will be a list or menu with the times available; some providers may allow you to schedule a consultation immediately, and some will also give you the option to schedule it for a time in the future that works in your schedule. While you are scheduling the appointment, you may be required to fill out information about your symptoms, current medications, and medical history.
After you choose an appointment time that works for you, the provider will give you detailed instructions to access the platform, phone call, chat, or video call. Once the time comes, follow these instructions, which may be a link or a button. Once you are connected to a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform, you will be able to talk to your web doctor! This will be a real person in live time on the other end of the call, who will then review your information and your symptoms. They may ask you some questions during the consultation, and it is important to be honest with your web doctor. It ensures that they can determine an accurate diagnosis. After the virtual doctor has asked you all the questions they need, they will give you your diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan. If they see it as necessary, they will write you an online prescription to be picked up at your local pharmacy, or some services offer a front-door delivery option for your medication. If the virtual doctor cannot treat your condition because it requires diagnostic testing or imagining, the online doctor will probably give you suggestions and recommendations on how to proceed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a web doctor a real person?
Yes, it is a real doctor who you are connected with live! No robots or artificial intelligence here. You will be able to hear or see a real licensed doctor on the other end during your consultation. Online doctors follow the same guidelines and commitments that any in-person doctor would.
How much does it cost to talk to a web doctor?
This varies greatly depending on your insurance provider, the reason that you are scheduling an appointment, and the telehealth provider. If you do not have insurance and are scheduling an appointment for mental health concerns, it may be more expensive. To determine exactly what your financial obligation might be, check your insurance coverage with the telemedicine provider.
Do you need a computer to talk to an online doctor?
In most cases, no! You can use your phone or tablet. Check with your telemedicine provider because every service offers different methods of communication to connect patients to doctors. Some providers may require you to have video-conferencing capabilities.
Where to Find a Web Doctor
When you are ready to try out telemedicine, the only question left to ask is which telehealth provider to sign up with. While there are countless options, consider choosing Telegra MD. Telegra MD is a provider that makes it easy and convenient to access quality healthcare services through mobile apps and online. With services offered for over 50 various health concerns and conditions, our friendly doctors have you taken care of and can help you start feeling healthier today. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all 365 days of the year; we have you covered when things go wrong in the middle of the night or while you’re on the go and can’t find time to go to an office.
Our doctors are all board-certified, have over 15 years of experience, are certified for remote practice, and have been background checked to ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care. Our user-friendly platform makes it easy to sign up and make an appointment—you likely won’t have to wait more than 15 minutes to be connected to a doctor!