Tag Archives: medical myths

Telemedicine Mythbusters (Part 1)

Telemedicine is finally on the rise as many people are starting to see just how convenient and effective it is to see your doctor from home, however, many still aren’t convinced that it is an adequate stand-in for a traditional doctor’s visit. In some ways telemedicine actually surpasses brick-and-mortar medicine, such as:

  • Allowing the efficiency of skipping waiting rooms, commute time or having to take time off work to see a doctor
  • Making healthcare more accessible
  • Providing continuing care for chronic conditions
  • Allowing easy follow-up care
  • Providing a safer medicinal route for those with mobility issues or the elderly who may have troubles venturing out.

Next, we want to bust some common telemedicine myths that may be barriers standing in the way of people embracing telemedicine:

  1. You need a physical examination for any doctor’s visit

This is mostly untrue. By the American Medical Association’s calculations, up to 78% of health matters can be addressed via telemedicine. That 78% covers a lot of ground including (but not limited to): infections, rashes, acne, arthritis, minor injuries, STIs, allergies, asthma, as well as management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and many more. Telemedicine acts as triage as well, letting you know if your medical problem is something that needs the be examined, or preventing you from spending a whole day (and pocket-full) in the ER for something that can be managed from home. Never underestimate the power of technology – the doctor will be able to tell a lot from high definition video conferences, photos or videos.

  1. Give medical details over the internet? What about my privacy?

Not all telemedicine companies have the same level of information protection, but speaking from DocChat’s perspective, we use government-standard 256bit AES block cipher and SHA2 encryption to ensure your sensitive information is under unbreakable lock-and-key. DocChat also strictly adheres to HIPAA privacy laws so needless to say, your medical information is safe with us!

  1. Telemedicine doctors aren’t the same as “real” doctors though, right?

Telemedicine doctors are real doctors. Once again, we can’t speak from the point of view of all telemedicine companies, however, all of our DocChat physicians are board certified and just as qualified as any doctor you would visit at a clinic. Many of our physicians also have years of emergency room work under their belts. We conduct a rigorous vetting process to ensure we have only the best working on our team. However, be sure to practice caution when it comes to searching telemedicine companies, as not all of them are as strict about physician vetting. Some companies may not have board certified physicians, so do your research. Another facet of telemedicine includes independent hospital and clinic doctors who also run virtual practices for their rural or immobile patients.

  1. But I won’t be able to get my prescription for the infection I have!

Sure you will! When appropriate, DocChat doctors can prescribe any non-narcotic prescriptions that a face-to-face doctor would. Have an infection? DocChat physicians will happily help you out by issuing antibiotics directly to your pharmacy for pickup or delivery!

  1. You have to be a tech-savvy millennial to use telemedicine

This one is also untrue. While many people may think telemedicine is a complicated, mysterious notion more suited to the younger phone-loving generation, this isn’t the case. It is a great service for all ages. Over 60% of senior Americans go online via smartphone, tablet or laptop regularly and many of our current regular patients are senior Americans who love not having to make a trip out every time they need doctor’s advice. All you need to see a doctor via telemedicine is an internet connection and a website or app. Simply install our easy-to-use DocChat app, sign up and you’re ready to go!

So there you have it, a few common telemedicine myths busted! Stay tuned for Part 2 in the future. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Medical Mythbusters – Summer Edition!


We decided to start a Medical Mythbuster feature, so here is our very first on the topic of summer health and safety! Check out these common summer health myths and try to guess from the title if they are true or false before reading further. Let’s see how many you get right!

  1. Jelly Fish Stings – To Pee Or Not To Pee?

This is a very common medical myth that we’ve probably all heard, but recent research has debunked it, suggesting that urinating on a jellyfish sting may actually make the injury worse as urine is quite acidic. The best course of action is to use warm water and a numbing agent such as lidocaine and seek medical treatment.

  1. Eyes Can Get Sunburnt

Most people don’t think of their eyes as being a body part that can be sunburned, can you picture sunburnt eyes? Not a nice image. But unfortunately it is entirely possible. The eyes are quite sensitive, and when exposed to high intensity UV rays for too long they become red, sore, itchy and sometimes painful. The effects are similar to the “flash” some welders experience when they don’t use protective eyewear while working with intense flames. Turns out sunglasses weren’t just invented for driving in style! So, protect those peepers this summer!

  1. Don’t Swim After You Eat

Another widespread summer myth that has since turned out to be mostly inaccurate. Unless you eat a whole turkey and the trimmings, you should be fine to swim. You will not sink, the worst thing that may happen if you eat too much before swimming is a stomach cramp or heartburn. Most professional swimmers eat healthy protein almost directly before competing or training, as they have low body fat percentages and require the energy. Our moms may have been a little over-concerned about this old tale but they can all relax and let their little ones go for a dip after a light snack this summer!

  1. Eww! Spit On Your Fresh Wound?

FACT (Well…kind of).
We don’t recommend that you start licking your cuts, but there has been a fair bit of empirical research about the healing powers of a specific enzyme found in the saliva. These enzymes are very powerful in animals, which is how they heal superficial wounds so quickly in the wild. Opposing medical camps argue that the helpful enzyme is overruled by the millions and of bacteria in the human mouth, some of which are harmful and could potentially cause infection in an open wound. So there may be some truth to saliva having a medicinal property in theory (and could probably help in a pinch), but one should be careful licking cuts or the bacteria may cause more harm than good!

The Summer Sun Is Only Dangerous To Skin

While skin cancer is a huge and very real summer sun concern, overheating is often overlooked as a summer danger. Heat exhaustion is much more of a dangerous topic than people believe. Over 600 Americans die annually of overheating in the summer, and many others become very ill. Small children and the elderly are most at risk for extreme symptoms or death due to overheating. Many of these deaths are preventable by drinking a lot of water to remain hydrated in the heat (especially when exercising), removing yourself from spending too much time in the direct summer heat, intermittently cooling off, and never leaving small children (or anyone) in hot cars or other overheated areas in summer.

Well that is all for our first edition of Medical Mythbusters! Thanks for visiting DocChat! Keep an eye out for future Mythbusters posts!