Why Telemedicine?

One word… CONVENIENCE! I have so many moms who haven’t been to the doctor in years, as toting their kids around to a doctor’s appointment sounds less than ideal. Especially to an appointment that can last upwards of an hour! Someone will get bored, and someone will need snacks, a bathroom break, or a nap. Or will have a tantrum. Who wants to do that?! And you may or may not have the resources to watch your kids while you go to an appointment. But I would rather you use those resources for a date night with your spouse. A massage. Yoga class. Coffee with a friend. A nap. You get the point. I want you to have the best of both worlds.

I have so many moms feeding their babies on an appointment, sitting with their kids while they eat lunch, or watching a show. They are there while their kids are working on homework. They are in the car in the school parking lot waiting to pick their kids up from school. 

I have patients from all walks of life. Teachers log on for an appointment during a planning period. Office professionals take a break to log in to an appointment. Taking lunch breaks in the parked car at work. In between clients. Getting ready in the morning before leaving for work. How convenient is that?! Having your healthcare provider in your pocket, or on your desk? To not have to get a babysitter, tote your kids around, miss a half or full day of work… 

I think there is a place for this type of medicine. Some things cannot be accomplished in healthcare over telemedicine. If you have an ear infection that needs to be looked at, a bladder infection, cough, broken bone, cuts, etc. need urgent in-person appointments with your primary care provider or at your local urgent care or ER. But we can accomplish so much over telemedicine without disrupting your life! Finally…the ability to focus on improving your health in an easy and convenient setting (wherever you choose!).

Telemedicine is a convenient, cost-effective mode of delivery for high-quality functional medicine care at Illuminate Functional Medicine. 

A few tips I have learned so far:

  • No driving while on telemedicine. Not only is it unsafe, it just doesn’t work. We lose connection and it is just not a good idea to be distracted while driving. So I am all for meeting in your car where it is private and quiet, just be sure you have reception and can be parked for the length of the appointment. Otherwise, we can do a phone appointment if you need to be driving and can do so hands-free, in an area you have good cell service. 
  • You must be in the state in which I am licensed. So if you live in Oregon, and I am licensed there, we cannot have an appointment when you are on vacation in Florida, as I am not licensed there. I do hold multiple state licenses, so if you will be out of state before your appointment please let me know so we can be sure we can complete your appointment. I am licensed in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon.
  • Test your computer and phone before your appointment. Make sure in your settings you allow your microphone and camera to be accessed by the software/app. If you are using earbuds or are connected to your car’s audio, please be sure this is working as many times this can be a source of confusion or frustration on your part as the audio won’t connect if you are connecting to something else (just tips… it can work, but sometimes can take a few minutes of struggling with your devices). If we run into issues we can switch to phone appointments. At lab follow-up appointments I do like to share my screen, so we can review your labs together, so keep that in mind when planning for the type of appointment (phone versus telemedicine).
  • Make sure you are in a private place. I have had people try to have these conversations in a busy and loud coffee shop and even when you are wearing earbuds it can be very difficult to communicate. Especially if we are getting into private matters or reviewing lab results, I want to be sure we can hear each other and are comfortable and able to communicate effectively and privately.