by Bob Greene for The Best Life.com
The routine goes something like this: You decide you need to see your doctor so you make an appointment. You show up at your scheduled time and wait in the waiting room. You get called into an exam room and wait some more. Someone—a nurse or PA—eventually stops in to do some routine checks. After some more waiting, you finally get to see your doctor. The visit lasts all of about 10 minutes, during which time you try your best to ask all the questions you have (hopefully you’ve remembered to write them down) and share information about whatever issue has brought you into the office.
Doesn’t exactly seem like the best use of your time—but what other options do you have? Plenty—and many of them can be found online. Over half of Americans are interested in their doctors taking to Facebook and Twitter so they can interact with them via social media.
Facebook: Almost one-third of doctors have accepted friend requests from their patients on Facebook, says research from George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. It’s also possible that they have a professional “page” instead of a personal one that you can access.
Twitter: If letting your doctor have access to your Facebook-worthy daily life seems strange, see if he or she is on Twitter—many are. If your doctor does tweet, chances are they are tweeting things you’ll want to know about, like the latest health news. And it’s a good way to keep track of them without getting Facebook-level personal.
Email: As long as you OK it with your doctor beforehand, this is an excellent way to communicate information without having to schedule an office visit. Find out what your doctor’s policy is regarding email and go from there.
How do you communicate with your M.D.?