Monday, March 30, 2009
Medical Reports: Doc Talk
We've all been there, sick as a dog and wondering if we really need to go to the doctor and face hours in the waiting room. Makes you wish you had a doctor in the family. Well, one local doctor says that was his goal when he developed a website to let you talk directly to the doctor. Seven's Belkys Nerey shows us how this Doc Talk works.
WSVN -- You check your watch, flip through a magazine, then check your watch again. Sometimes nothing is more frustrating than waiting for the doctor to see you.
Rachel Tripp: "How long before I can see the doctor?"
Receptionist: "He'll be with you shortly."
Rachel Tripp knows all too well what it's like to wait in the pediatrician's office for hours.
Rachel Tripp: "It's an infuriating process. You try to get the earliest appointment, you try to get the last appointment, nothing helps."
And if you simply have a question for the doctor, waiting in a room full of sick people is no fun.
Rachel Tripp: "If I could just ask somebody who I trust, whose credentials I trust, then I wouldn't have to go through the whole process."
Now you don't have to. A new website created by a South Florida doctor lets you ask a top specialist any medical question with a click of the mouse. It's called www.askthemedicalspecialist.com. Dr. Lance Cohen said he came up with the idea because he wanted to give other people the same help as family members who call him for advice.
Dr. Lance Cohen, website creator: "It's a difficult task for the average person to navigate through the system to make sure you don't just get care, but you get the best care possible."
The site features six doctors, including a pediatrician, pulmonologist, cardiologist, kidney specialist, gastroenterologist and a trauma surgeon.
Dr. Lance Cohen: "I personally handpicked each physician because I know they are well-trained, somebody I would trust with my own family."
Here's how it works: You log on to the site, create a personalized account, choose your doctor, ask your question and within 48 hours you're guaranteed an answer in your e-mail inbox. You also get to ask one follow-up question, if you need to.
Rachel Tripp: "No waiting in the doctor's office, no frustration of waiting for an appointment. His nose is running, and he is coughing a little bit."
Pediatric ER doctor Peter Antevy loves the face-to-face interaction with his patients but says the web site offers direct access to a doctor right away.
Dr. Peter Antevy, Pediatric Emergency Medicine: "I've gotten questions about autism and vaccinations. I've gotten questions about asthma."
The doctors don't make a diagnosis or prescribe medication, but they offer a very thorough and detailed response guiding people through what can be a complex medical system.
Dr. Peter Antevy: "Giving them the tools that they need to then go to their doctor and have the doctor make the right diagnosis."
When Rachel's youngest daughter was being treated for a persistent cough, she went on the site to get a second opinion. Finding out the course of treatment was the right one gave her peace of mind without waiting hours to see another doctor.
Rachel Tripp: "You really feel special, you feel taken care of, and you feel like someone is really looking out for you."
Right now, the cost is $19.99 per question with one follow-up question included.
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