Depending on your age, where you live and your personal situation, you probably have a pretty strong opinion about online dating. Maybe you’ve tried it and didn’t care for it, maybe you met your spouse online, or maybe you’re a hardcore traditionalist who prefers to meet people in an organic matter. “Going online” is no longer just for dating and for many people it’s become a great way to save time, money and even better adapt when handling a situation such as social anxiety.
Should you see a doctor online? It’s becoming increasingly popular but, just like online dating, not everyone is a perfect match for this approach. If it sounds intriguing, remember that just like seeing a doctor in person, it’s important to do your research. There are online doctors who are better matches for you, just like how things play out in the real world. Here are a few clues that you’re a good patient candidate for an online doctor and how to get started.
1. You have a time crunch
Everyone is busy these days, but if you really can’t squeeze in time for a doctor appointment, going online might be a better option. This can be true for mental health checkins, chatting with a GP for a medication you regularly take, or when you have very much a non-emergency (such as a UTI) but still need to “see” a doctor to get it cleared up.
2. You live in a rural area
Just because you choose the simple life doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with the one doctor in town (or, worse, the one that’s 50 miles away). For those in rural areas with a good internet connection, going online might not just be the best choice, it might be the only choice.
3. You struggle with an anxiety disorder
Whether it’s agoraphobia, extreme social anxiety or another issue that makes getting to appointments troublesome, depending on an online appointment can be a great way to get the quality care you need without undue stress. Of course, choosing this option is only a good idea if your doctor agrees. Make sure you let your online doctor know about any disorders and they can help you create a health plan that’s best for you.
4. You’re more open with a screen buffer
Many people are used to having a screen between them and other people, and this can help make them more transparent and honest. This is crucial for the doctor-patient relationship, and even though you should work on the need/desire for a screen buffer, that can be a long process.
Think you’re a good candidate? Start by checking reviews, “interviewing” doctors virtually and don’t forget to trust your gut.