Forget Calling Your Doctor in the Morning -- Email, Text, or Tweet Instead

Last year, I found myself with a medical issue that required several trips to my doctor. I also had to check in with her quite frequently and give her almost hourly updates on my condition. So when she pushed her card across her office table and casually said, "Just email me," I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!

It would be such an awesome and natural thing to email your doctor and ask for basic health advice, but how many of them do it? You know you've got to wait all day for a phone call, or even several days, or maybe a couple of weeks for an actual appointment. But now more doctors are finally stepping stepping into the new millennium.

So far, these numbers are small. Most doctors still cling like 19th century historians to ink and paper. But some of them who are willing email you, send you blogs, and even -- gulp! -- Tweet!

Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician, has a blog about child-rearing and will even answer questions by text message. Says this awesomely up-to-date doc:

It's much easier for me to shoot you an email and show you a blog post than it is to phone you back.

Amen, Dr. Natasha! But she says her colleagues are so shocked that she emails her clients that they "look at me and kind of shake their heads when I tell them what I do." Boo on them!

Of course, I understand why docs might prefer the phone, even if it takes longer. They probably don't want to risk that their texts, Tweets, or emails are misread or misunderstood. "Your X-ray was a little cloudy" can sound much better in a nice, calm tone than in an email. But, let's face it, how convenient is it to be able to email a doctor at night, ask a quick question, and actually get a response? Superconvenient.

For those of us who have busy lives and may not be able to schedule an appointment or spend hours waiting by the phone, a quick email from a doctor we trust is like a nugget of gold. I just don't hope the incessant email hypochondriacs screw it up for the rest of us!

Do you use tech to talk to your doctor?

 

Image via TJMWatson/Flickr

business, communication

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butte... butterflyfreak

One of the docs at my daughter's pediatrician gave me her cell number in case my daughter got worse (can't remember now what we were seeing her for.) I never did use it and have since lost it but I was incredibly impressed that she was willing to give me a direct contact number for her.

japan... japanmommy

My current OB gave me his email and it has been so helpful! It's great for a quick question.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

My doctor has a great system at his practice. You log in and can send messages, check test results including seeing which results are flagged as abnormal, see upcoming appointments, and all manner of other useful stuff. If you have a non-urgent question you can send them a message and someone gets back to you within 24 hours. I wish my son's pediatrician had something similar but they at least have the phone system down to a science and they are great about getting back to your promptly and actually calling with test results whether or not they indicate a need for treatment or further tests.

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