I’m a virtual primary care physician seeing my patients while traveling. I call myself a digital nomad physician and most of my patients are remote workers or nomads of some kind.
As a California-licensed doctor, I can only see patients who are located in California which limits my reach but it’s better than having no access at all.
Practicing Medicine Virtually
My physician mentors always say that we’ve been doing telemedicine since the 70s except now health institutions can bill for it. Any time you talk to a patient on the phone about their health it’s telemedicine. Except now the rules have changed.
My patients prefer virtual care because they are generally healthy and prefer to see the same physician no matter where they are in the world.
I prefer to run a virtual primary care practice because I don’t want to be tied down to the same chair in the same zip code. From Spain to Germany to Mexico, I am grateful that I can travel and continue my relationship with my patients.
Primary Care Medicine Online
As a family medicine doctor, I see all ages and often help patients prevent chronic diseases or manage chronic conditions. Admittedly, most of my patients are healthy which is a bit of a selection bias for the traveling lifestyle.
It’s not difficult to get lab tests and medications when necessary. The tough part is to know whether you need it in the first place.
My job is to make sure that my patients don’t get unnecessary pain meds, antibiotics, or imaging studies that they don’t need.
Virtual Primary Care Visits
Each of my appointments is 1 hour long. We leave enough room for idle chit chat and we can dive deep into medical conditions from prevention to home remedies to the latest research.
Traditionally, you call the office and book an appointment. After parking your car you have to check in and get your vitals done by the nurse. You wait for the doctor to show up and 10 minutes later you walk out with a new diagnosis or prescription.
This isn’t how I interact with my own doctor so I don’t want that for my patients. I want to get along with my primary care doctor and feel comfortable and not rushed.
I can text my patients, leave voice messages, and we can send images and videos back and forth. It’s like a real conversation and it’s not constrained by a physical location or a short time limit.