The Rise of the “Misguided” Online Consultation: Patient Expectations vs. Reality

“Blindness and Error can change a life as surely as Judgement and Reason can.”  ~ M. Morris

As social media and the internet in general take hold of almost every aspect of our lives, with their apparent ease of access and speed of response, we tend to infer that we can really do EVERYTHING in the virtual world. This notion has clearly spread throughout all fields of industry, marketing and certainly impacting the field of health services in general. In this blog post I’d like to discuss the downsides of people’s misguided perceptions that online medical/dental consultations are a viable and reliable form of enquiry into their health issues.

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Communication 101 for Orthodontists

“A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings … cannot be just a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete sense and desire their good before his own.”

W. H. Auden

“With the evolution from a paternalistic to an autonomous (self-rule) perspective of health care delivery, many patients no longer unconditionally accept a doctor’s expert authority to dictate therapy without considering options. The doctor’s communication style must therefore convey an appreciation of the patient’s concerns and complaints, as well as verbal skills that involve the patient in the decision-making process—all in an empathetic, personalized manner.”
– Peter Greco (The Salient Skill. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2015;147:301)

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