When Is It Appropriate to See an Online Doctor?
As online doctor services become more popular, more people are considering this alternative to traditional in-person doctor’s visits. There are several advantages to seeing an online doctor, though there are certain limitations to consider. With that in mind, let’s take a look at when it’s most appropriate to see an online doctor.
The type of condition is the most important factor to consider when determining if it’s appropriate to see an online doctor. There are a large number of conditions that most online doctors are capable of helping you diagnose and treat from the comfort of your own home. These conditions include common medical concerns, including:
- Cough, cold, and flu
- Headaches and migraines
- Nausea and stomach aches
- Skin rashes and acne
- Anxiety and panic disorders
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nutrition and dietary concerns
- High blood pressure
- Therapy and counseling
- Prescription medication refills
You need to consult with your specific online doctor service to know for sure the scope of care they offer. In general, most online doctor services can help you with hundreds of conditions and concerns, as long as they are not emergencies. Some even offer services related to chronic, long-term conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
If scheduling is a concern of yours, then you may want to consider seeing an online doctor. In many cases, you’ll be able to consult with an online doctor within 15 minutes. This means no more sitting around a waiting room. Additionally, online doctor services are typically available 24 hours a day. So, if you have a medical concern at 2 a.m., you don’t have to wait until the next morning to call your doctor to schedule a visit.
The cost of seeing a doctor in person can be quite prohibitive. Even a family doctor visit can cost you anywhere from $65 to $150 per visit. Urgent Care visits are typically around $150. And a trip to the emergency room costs over $1,300 on average. Seeing an online doctor when appropriate can curb these costs. Many online doctor services are remarkably affordable compared to in-person doctor’s visits.
Depending on the online doctor service you use, you can expect to pay somewhere between $14.95 and $19.95 per month for regular access to an online doctor. Some services charge per visit instead. You can expect to pay between $39 and $59 per visit. There is some variation in cost between the various online doctor services available.
The Bottom Line
Online doctors are skilled, licensed physicians with MDs and PhDs who offer their expertise online to reach patients across the country. Research has shown that the services you can receive from an online doctor are as good as the services you can receive from in-person doctor’s appointments. Convenience is the main difference between seeing a doctor in person and seeing a doctor online. You can quickly get in touch with an online doctor at all hours of the day and save money. If you’re concerned about scheduling, costs, and potentially exposing yourself to sick patients in waiting rooms, seeing an online doctor can be an appropriate option.