Even before the coronavirus pandemic made them a necessity, virtual doctor visits were becoming more popular. Patients with chronic diseases or transportation issues took advantage of this relatively new setup to continue receiving the medical treatment they needed without leaving home. Now, in an era of social distancing, more and more patients are giving telemedicine a try.

Since telemedicine is somewhat new, some patients aren’t quite sure how to approach it. It’s certainly not your typical doctor’s appointment where you sit across from them in an examination room. Before your virtual appointment begins, make sure you’re ready to meet with your doctor under drastically different circumstances than normal.

Telemedicine, or virtual doctor visits, have become incredibly popular in the era of social distancing. Here’s how to make a video call with a doctor as beneficial as a typical office visit. #MainStreetMedical #MainStreetClinics Click To Tweet

Before Your Visit

Get in touch with your doctor’s office ahead of time to see what specific things they need from you. Exact requirements may vary. However, several things will likely remain consistent regardless of your doctor or appointment reason. Preparation for your virtual appointment should include:

  • Setting up and testing the required app or video chat system to speak with your doctor
  • Finding a comfortable, quiet, private space in your home to have the appointment
  • Noting the types and amounts of every medicine or supplement you take
  • Listing any questions or concerns you may have
  • Measuring and noting your temperature, weight, and/or blood pressure (if possible)

Pro Tip: Before your virtual doctor visit, get in touch with their office and find out what information the doctor needs from you. Have it all ready when they call.

During Your Visit

In a virtual visit, the doctor can’t physically be in the room with you or take your vitals themselves. However, the conversational aspect of your visit should be largely unchanged. Discuss your questions or concerns with your doctor and make sure you understand the treatment plan moving forward. Furthermore, just like in a typical visit, try to have a loved one nearby or sitting in on the appointment. They can provide additional insights to the doctor and help you stay on track with your treatment plan afterward. This is especially important if the appointment is for a child. Always make sure a parent or guardian is present.

Remember, a virtual appointment has one particular pitfall a physical appointment lacks: a lost connection. A dropped call or loss of the internet could cut you off from the doctor. To prevent this from happening, arrange a backup plan with your doctor or the front desk in case something happens. Provide another phone number, Skype ID, or another method of communication to finish the appointment.

Stay Connected with Your Doctor

Your doctor has your health and best interests in mind, even during a virtual visit. Don’t let physical distance keep you from maintaining your health. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider and take care of yourself.

Connect with us to schedule a virtual doctor appointment today.

Dr Abbas Jafri MD