I’m all for telehealth visits. It’s been a lifeline during the pandemic and is truly convenient for those who have issues traveling to a doctor’s office. But at some point, doctors actually need to see patients. Hands-on, physical exams provide a depth of information that a virtual visit simply cannot. And while you might be able to put your swollen joint, rash, etc. up to the camera, it’s impossible for the doctor to closely examine your eyes, skin or other parts of your body.
(Can you tell I’m perturbed?)
Last November I had a TIA (also known as a mini-stroke). It took me several weeks to even get an appointment with a neurologist and then it was a televisit due to the pandemic restrictions. During that call, we scheduled an in-person follow-up for June. Today the office called to change the in-person visit to a virtual one.
I’ve been doing fine since that one incident, but there comes a time when a neurologist needs to check your reflexes, examine your eye functions and check for other signs that a patient might miss. You simply cannot do that over a camera.
I’ve had other in-person visits with my PCP, my ortho surgeon, my dentist to name a few. However, there is still a cadre of providers staying hands-off.
I hope telehealth visits remain mainstream, but at some point (hopefully soon) doctors need to start seeing patients in person – or at least offer the option.
I hope that you, and your virtual self, are doing well and keeping safe. Thanks for checking in.