Because of a statewide order in California to Shelter-in-Place, I had my scheduled annual physical with my primary care physician last week via Zoom.com.
Though my doctor is just seven miles away, this virtual meeting made it easier for her to examine me face-to-face via video, saved me travel time, and kept us both free of possible exposure which is essential during this global pandemic.
How It Was The Same
In some ways, this annual physical was the same as an old-fashioned, face-to-face office visit.
First of all, I had to wait about 15 minutes for my doctor to finish an earlier appointment with another patient.
Once we connected on Zoom, we both browsed through my blood results from a local lab a week earlier and discussed any possible abnormalities; fortunately, there were none.
She also asked all the usual questions about my health, my weight, my moderate hearing loss, how often I’ve been donating blood, and about any other doctors I’d seen over the past year for various minor ailments of the skin, joints, eyes, ears, and throat.
How It Was Different
I told her that I’d taken a photo of my feet on a scale that morning, took a screen grab of my blood pressure monitor that showed my BP and pulse, had a copy of my most recent hearing test, and that last month’s ophthalmologist appointment revealed my vision had not changed.
After the call, I was able to upload each of these images and reports to her health system’s patient portal.
I missed having her use a stethoscope to listen to my heart beat, an otoscope to look inside my ears for any blockage, and a reflex hammer to test my knee reflexes.
I did not miss sitting in her office in my skivvies on the examining table, her asking me to turn my head and cough, or especially her checking the size of my prostate.
She typed her summary into my electronic medical records and read them to me so that I could review her notes and add any comments. Though this telemedicine annual physical was a bit different for me, it still included all the personal interactions one wants with their trusted primary care physician.
As long as we have enough internet bandwidth, we may all be having more telemedicine doctor visits in the future, whether there’s a global pandemic or not.
A telemedicine annual physical is just one great example of a video meeting between two or more people where we can get our business done with social distancing.
So please stay safe and stay healthy by just staying at home.
SGD is a San Francisco Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in the senior and boomer markets. We’ve successfully positioned, branded and rebranded companies that market to seniors, weaving traditional and online tactics to create compelling stories that drive response.
About the Author Gil Zeimer is a Creative Director / Copywriter at SGD Advertising. He lives in Marin County, CA, which has been under a Shelter-in-Place mandate since March 17, 2020.