Meet your Doctor by SKYPE

Why do you need to visit in-person for a urology or radiology consult?

Do you really need to shake the surgeons hand?

Since prostate cancer doctor consultations rarely involve a physical exam by the actual doctor, would you object to "meeting" with your urologist or radiologist by SKYPE or something like SKYPE?

(blood tests could be done by the local clinic, so you save massive amounts of time and may actually "see" your doctor sooner rather than later.) What do you think?

2 Replies

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  • If I had a choice of meeting with a doctor for 20 minutes in person vs. 20 minutes on Skype, I'd prefer meeting in person. However if my choice were driving in traffic for an hour, sitting in a waiting room for an hour, meeting for 20 minutes, then driving home for an hour, I think I'd prefer the Skype. I'd stay home and do whatever needs to be done at home and the doc could call me when he was free and I was his next patient.

    That would not be true for every doctor's visit. Sometimes a physical exam is needed but, as you say, sometimes it's not.

    30 years ago people were talking about artificial intelligence as a partial replacement for doctors. A number of very sophisticated programs were written. You could type your symptoms and test results in (or test results could be sent from the lab direct to the computer) and the program would offer opinions or recommendations for more testing. I have read that some of the programs produced diagnoses and prescriptions that were actually better than those of human doctors in most cases, especially those involving less frequently encountered conditions. However, fearing a field day for malpractice attorneys, none of the companies that backed the research were willing to take them to the market.

    One of the big advantages of computers is that, when bugs are found in the program or errors in the database, they can be completely and permanently corrected. Incompetent or ignorant doctors aren't "fixed" so easily.

  • Great comment.