Until fairly recently, three modern-day health realities were in constant tension.
- Stress can make illnesses worse or even cause them.
- The only safe way to address persistent or potentially emergent illnesses is to obtain advice and treatment from a qualified medical professional.
- Going to a medical office is stressful; going to an urgent care or emergency room can be extremely stressful and could put you in contact with sick people.
Fortunately, today we have an expanding number of options that can help to reduce the chances of worsening illnesses – or causing new ones – by the stress that goes alongside seeking out medical care.
House Call Medicine Goes Away
House calls are a long-practiced solution to the urgent care dilemma. What could be less stressful than a doctor coming to you? Moreover, seeing you in your own environment might give the doctor clues about the causes of ailments or injuries. House calls have multiple benefits and were a common feature of medical practices up through the first half of the 20th century but they gradually withered away in the post-World War II boom period.
If you’re old enough to remember the 1960s and 70s, you might recall comedians like Johnny Carson making jokes about the impossibility of getting doctors to perform house calls. The very popular Marcus Welby, M.D. TV series featured a kindly and empathetic old-fashioned doctor who was still regularly performing house calls in the 1970s. The show seemed about as realistic to viewers then as the latest Marvel movie seems to us.
Despite the complaints and jokes, it wasn’t doctors’ laziness and/or affection for golf that put the house call into a decades-long coma. It was the rise of new and more effective medical technology. X-ray, EKG, and ultrasound machines, for example, were very large and unwieldy and could only be kept in clinics and hospitals. Other diagnostic tests were similarly more cumbersome than before. House calls stopped making sense, but that left a void.
People suffering from non-emergency and chronic conditions in the Los Angeles area had two options: drive themselves through LA’s notorious traffic or get a ride from a family member or friend. Cabs were another option but, before the rise of ridesharing, getting a ride on short notice could be difficult. Of course, once you got to your destination, you were compelled to wait in a room that was often full of sick people.
Telemedicine came along with the 21st century, but early versions of it weren’t much of an improvement. With many health plans, calling an advice nurse always seemed to yield the exact same answer: “We can’t diagnose or really tell you anything at all over the phone so please come in for an appointment!” Not surprisingly, many of us stopped calling after one or two tries when it became clear that it was mostly just an annoying waste of time that could be put on hold for as long as it would take to drive to the urgent care clinic!
House Calls Return
High technology came to the rescue in more recent decades with the continued boom in high-tech and miniaturization. As more of us suddenly found ourselves with supercomputers in our pockets, new healthcare apps multiplied. Smartphones became more and more similar to something very like the Star Trek tricorder Drs. McCoy and Crusher used to diagnose injuries and illnesses in the fabled TV and movie franchise.
Similarly, the arrival of ever smaller and more portable X-ray and ultrasound machines, and more widely available testing centers for blood and urine specimens, meant doctors could perform nearly all of the same functions at a patient’s home, hotel room, or office as they could at a hospital.
As time went on, more and more medical providers saw an opportunity to provide greatly improved service. House call doctors have multiplied nationwide but patients in the Greater Los Angeles area have been especially enthusiastic – and it’s easy to see why. We’re known all over as one of the world’s high-stress transportation capitols.
For fairly minor illnesses or for those troubling times when you have no idea whether a symptom might be nothing to worry about or possibly a sign of something important, telemedicine can be the ultimate in low-stress medical care. Unlike the advice nurses of the past, teledoctors are empowered to write prescriptions and make diagnoses if they have sufficient information. They may even tell you that you don’t need to see them in person.
Moreover, between video phone calls and the modern-day ability to take pictures and send them by phone, more problems than ever can be handled via telemedicine. Though it can’t replace face-to-face visits entirely, it can be ideal for handling ongoing chronic problems and getting quick advice with a minimum of time and maximum efficiency.
When Not to Use a House Call Doctor
As doctor’s offices are constantly reminding you on the phone, if you are dealing with a possible life or death emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately. Significant but not life-threatening injuries such as possible fractures and cuts that may require stitches will also likely necessitate a visit to an emergency room or in-person urgent care.
Removing the Stress from Healthcare with House Call Doctor Los Angeles
If you are in Greater Los Angeles, House Call Doctor Los Angeles offers the full range of house call and telemedicine services. Whether you are at home, a hotel, an office, or just about anywhere where it’s possible to safely and appropriately conduct a doctor visit, we can come to you so you can relax while you wait for care.
Our primary physician, Dr. Michael Farzam is a widely respected board-certified internist who has helped thousands of patients deal with all kinds of health matters in the most relaxing and convenient way possible. If you wish to make Dr. Farzam your primary doctor, you may also want to look into our concierge medicine offerings.
To set up a visit or to find out more about House Call Doctor Los Angeles, please call the number on your screen or complete the form on our contact page.