This has got to be the health care laugh of the decade: Teladoc. Why? Here’s my very short story.
Two years ago our corporate office decided to offer this service as part of our compensation. For a $25 co-pay, we could call a doctor on an 800 number, tell him/her what was wrong, and they could presumably phone in a prescription. I had a raging sore throat and a cough at the time, and knew I wouldn’t feel much better any time soon if I didn’t get some treatment.
I described my symptoms.
“Well, you know,” doctor on the phone told me in a rather condescending tone, “nine times out of 10, these things are viral in nature. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses. I recommend you get plenty of fluids and enough rest.”
Wow. Wow. Did I just pay $25 to have someone patronize me with advice from Marcus Welby, M.D.? Fluids and rest? Brilliant. I would never have thought drinking enough fluid and getting enough sleep would have any have any effect on my health. Fun fact: this isn’t medical advice at all: it’s every day advice, and always true.
The last time I called Teladoc was the last time I will call Teladoc.
Update 2022: the price of Teladoc went up to $55 this month. I stand by my point, and, for the guy who showed up in the comments on this entry and tried to call me out, you were deleted and banned. This is not a forum, and you are not welcome.
Ha. (At the advice.)
I’ve never heard of this company until now. I followed your link. There are three doctors pictured just below the fold. At least one of them, I’m fairly certain, is an android facsimile of a human doctor.
Of course, the very thing you described often happens at *actual* doctor offices, in person, which is one reason I’m always loathe to go (especially before I had insurance). A few years ago, I went in due to sudden onset of occasional massive headaches. The doctor asked me a bunch of questions off a website (I could see the website from where I was sitting) and concluded that there was no way to tell what was causing the headaches. So I’ve just continued to live with them, learning to recognize the beginning of each one and self-medicate before it gets too bad — which is exactly what I would have done without having seen a doctor, without paying the $30 copay, and without my insurance paying the doctor $400 for the 10-minute consultation.
So it’s no wonder that back when I was working I never opted to pay half my meager salary for the insurance offered by my employers, and didn’t see a doctor for more than 20 years.