Telemedicine Done Wrong


I am all for telemedicine but when it is done by YOUR doctor.  These third parties using “providers” are a scam. It just fragments health care even more.  And they suck.  Here is some proof of how bad they are:

  • Researchers posing as patients with skin problems sought help from 16 online telemedicine companies—with unsettling results.
  • Some of the online doctors misdiagnosed syphilis, herpes and skin cancer, and some prescribed medications without asking key questions about patients’ medical histories or warning of adverse effects, the researchers found.
  • Two sites linked users with doctors located overseas who aren’t licensed to practice where the patients were located, as required by state law.
  • The services failed to ask simple, relevant questions of patients about their symptoms, leading them to repeatedly miss important diagnoses.
  • The online clinicians—who were mostly identified as physicians, with a few nurse practitioners and physician assistants—provided diagnoses in 48 of the 62 completed online visits and prescribed medications in 31 of them; but only 10 of the patients were told about relevant risks or side effects, including possible harm to unborn babies if the patients were pregnant.
  • Patients were asked the name of their primary-care physician in 13 of the 62 visits, and only six offered to send records of the encounter to an existing doctor.

What a joke.  I do telemedicine all the time and I am on 24/7/365.  It is not a big deal because I only have 600 patients and I know them.  This crap they are peddling is pathetic.  I once saw an ex-pathologist (yes, no primary care or ER training) who was a locum working in an urgent care doing telemedicine while on the job to make extra cash.  He was just prescribing antibiotics left and right.  That is the kind of care people are getting.

Buyer beware.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “Telemedicine Done Wrong

  1. HJR
    October 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Our neurology department weaseled out of any night or weekend call by getting a telemedicine outfit for coverage. Every time I’ve seen it in action, it is an absolutely embarrassing cluster coitus to say the least.

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