As you grow up, you exercise autonomy in most areas of your life and make your own decisions. Similarly, it’s your right to make decisions about your medical care without a healthcare professional influencing your decision.
Medical CYOA, choose your own antigen, empowers patient autonomy where a person has more control over their healthcare-related decisions. This concept suggests that healthcare providers should be there to educate a patient but not influence them into doing anything they don’t want to.
Due to increased inefficiencies in conventional healthcare systems, many patients are unable to exercise their autonomy. There are hundreds of people who receive the wrong care because of their healthcare professional’s misdiagnosis or misjudgment. But with telemedicine, you can exercise more autonomy in your healthcare decisions.
In this post, we’ve discussed the benefits of patient autonomy and how online doctors are helping people make more educated medical care decisions.
Table of Contents
What is Patient Autonomy?
Patient autonomy offers you the right to make decisions about how you seek medical care. In the past, many individuals complied with their healthcare provider’s decisions without question. However, with increased awareness, technology, and accessibility, patients want to be involved in their treatment, the care they receive, and other decisions.
An article from the Journal of American Medicine mentions that due to doctors’ medical expertise, there was a common assumption that they knew what was best for their patients. Therefore, they made all the decisions while the patient’s part was to just comply.
Although healthcare professionals have the required expertise, they should use it to educate patients instead of influencing them. Doctors study for years to be at this stage and have extensive scientific knowledge and clinical experience. Patients don’t have such skills but they understand their bodies well. They know their tolerance limits and what treatment they are comfortable with. This is why both parties need to see eye to eye and agree on what’s best for the patient—the right doctor will support your autonomy.
What Patient Autonomy Looks Like
With patient autonomy, you have a bigger role to play in your healthcare journey than your doctor. You can conduct research, explore treatment options, and make weighty decisions before choosing a treatment plan. In simpler words, you’re in the driver’s seat of your healthcare vehicle and can steer it in the right direction based on the information you get from medical professionals.
However, this doesn’t imply that you need to figure out every detail of your symptoms, condition, and treatment. You can choose the extent to which you have control. Even those who are comfortable with their healthcare professionals making decisions for them can exercise autonomy by conducting research and talking to their doctors about their concerns.
Autonomy isn’t limited to taking control of decision-making, it consists of research, education, and conversations that ensure your well-being.
Here’s how you can exercise autonomy in your medical care:
- Conduct thorough research about your condition, which includes studies, clinical trials, alternative treatments, etc.
- Choose your own doctor, instead of a healthcare facility choosing one for you
- Compile questions before visiting a doctor
- Discuss different treatment options with your healthcare provider
- Get multiple opinions from specialists
- Discuss your tolerance before moving forward with a particular treatment
Telemedicine and Patient Autonomy
Telemedicine platforms like TelMDCare enable health consumers to exercise their autonomy and make educated health decisions. Here’s how it works.
Finding the Right Doctor
You can learn about various doctors who are experts in different specialties. Read about their accomplishments, credentials, experience, contributions, and other critical information that can help you find the right doctor for your condition.
Finding the right doctor on these platforms is as easy as entering your condition and getting access to leading healthcare professionals in various regions.
Get Medical Advice
If you and your current general physician aren’t seeing eye to eye on your treatment or diagnosis, you can get medical advice from telemedicine doctors on how to proceed. It is possible that you might be wrong about something, or your doctor is. Seeking medical advice from an unbiased professional can help you avoid any major problems.
Telehealth platforms offer 24/7 online consultations that help you manage multiple appointments without disrupting your schedule.
Explore Possible Diagnoses
If you aren’t sure about your condition, adding your symptoms to a telemedicine platform will help narrow down potential conditions. This helps you make better decisions when finding a doctor or getting a diagnosis. You can also consult doctors to get an initial opinion before moving forward with lab tests, etc.
Second Opinion Finder
Getting a second opinion from a specialist is crucial for your well-being. Telemedicine lets you find expert doctors from all over the world to get a different perspective on your treatment. This allows you to choose the right treatment plan for your condition.
TelMDCare is a leading telehealth provider in the US, offering online consultations in a few easy steps. From primary care virtual doctors to specialists, you can find a wide range of doctors here. Book an appointment now or contact them for details.