Monday, August 8, 2011

Online Medical Consultation Here to Stay

Online Medical Consultation Here to Stay.

Being in General Practise for thirty years or more has, as you can imagine, thought me a thing or two about people and their relations with doctors. Here are some of the things I learned:

• People often don’t trust doctors but are afraid to challenge them. They are afraid to ask for a second opinion.
• People often don’t understand doctors or what they are trying to tell them.
• In the confusion of the consulting process people find it difficult to concentrate on what the doctor is saying. Therefore, they may afterwards appear to be almost deliberately non-compliant.
• For reasons perhaps known only to them, people can withhold vital information from their doctor or simply not tell the truth. This may render the entire consultation worthless.
• There are some things that all of us may find impossible to talk about face to face with another human being. Sexuality may be one such subject.
Given all these natural fault lines that appear in many doctor-patient consultations, it occurred to me that the Internet might be the perfect medium through which to allow people augment and redress this often flawed process. Online medical consultation is not designed to and never will replace the traditional doctor patient physical interaction. It can however bring clarity and lend valuable support to this process. When a person commits to Online consultation they:

• Have the required time and space to concentrate on their complaints and symptoms.
• Are less inhibited about discussing difficult topics.
• Are not afraid to argue their point of view.
• Are less inclined towards untruthfulness.
• Have the time and space to absorb all that is being said to them.
• Can seek clarification until they fully understand their diagnosis and its implications.

Whether we like it or nor, and personally I know many doctors who don’t like it, people will use the Internet to try and diagnose and even treat their own illnesses. Or at the very least will go to their doctor pre-loaded with a lot of Google information and misinformation. The Internet has now irrevocably infiltrated the doctor-patient process. It is up to us in the profession to try and make this development as innocuous as possible.

For more information about Online Doctors and e-Consultations please visit:


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