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August 3, 2018 • read
Yona and her unfortunate series of clinic visits
Could you imagine having no immediate access to a doctor?
For Yona, and many individuals, this is the alarming reality.
Yona, a young, successful professional came to Canada 12 years ago from Dubai to study electrical and biomedical engineering at McMaster University.
Suffice to say, she’s an incredibly bright person, but despite excelling in all she attempts, finding accessible medical care was a major challenge she faced in this new chapter of her life.
Although she’s lived in Canada for well over a decade, Yona has only visited the doctor five times. Unless she felt deathly sick, clinic visits just weren’t worth the hassle.
“I work long hours, and travel is a big part of that,” she said. “I hardly ever find time to even go to a dentist or a doctor, because you need to sacrifice almost an entire day.”
Yona’s ideal clinic visit
If Yona was to have a perfect medical experience, it would go something like this:
- Call her local clinic;
- Get an appointment almost immediately;
- Drive to the clinic;
- Be seen within minutes.
The reality didn’t quite work like that. She’d wait days for an appointment, and often she’d waste hours sitting in a waiting room. Eventually, she got burned out on going to the doctor, and stopped going.
It didn’t help that the doctor always seemed rushed, and unable to answer her questions.
“At some point, the doctor pretty much told me: ‘If you want to talk about this, then you need to come again for another appointment. Or, you can Google this, and you can Google that.” Yona replied by saying: “I’ve already been doing. How are you helping me here?”
Another time, Yona discovered her doctor had relocated when she tried to visit for a badly twisted ankle. When she eventually got through to her local practice, she was greeted with a voicemail promising a callback within 48 hours.
When they eventually called her back, they didn’t have any available appointment slots for a week.
Why Yona believes in telemedicine
For obvious reasons, Yona now chooses to skip clinic visits all together: “One of my biggest pet peeves is investing time and effort and then showing up, and the doctor saying, ‘just give it time and it’ll get better.'”
Yona also really doesn’t like the uncertainty around waiting times. “If I’m going to wait an hour, let me know that I’m going to wait an hour, or book me in an hour later,” she said.
Telemedicine for Yona has been hugely beneficial; a less intimidating, more convenient, and productive alternative to an in-person clinic visit.
She likes the ability to receive front-end professional medical advice when she needs it that works with her busy schedule.
“Just logging in, even if I have to wait, it’s okay when you’re in front of the computer, you can do other stuff, as opposed to going in and waiting in-person,” she said. “If I can do anything online, I’m more than happy to do it.”
If you’re like Yona, a busy professional with unfortunate clinic experiences, there’s an alternative readily available at your fingertips!