Patients Returning to Doctor’s Offices

Patients worried about their health avoided doctor’s offices.

That odd contradiction was part of the crazy year that was Covid 19, as people concerned about a highly contractible virus avoided getting needed screenings, tests and checkups for ailments more threatening to their health.

“They didn’t need to stay away as much as they did,” says KTRH Health expert Dr. Joe Galati of Texas Liver Specialists. “Now they are really coming out of the woodwork to get the care they need, especially those with chronic illnesses.”

The reports are mostly anecdotal from health care professionals at this point. Hard numbers of how many people avoided going to doctor’s appointments last year and how many people have since returned are hard to come by, but the fear is that those numbers will present as chronic conditions that may have been prevented with earlier detection.

Dr. Galati says his office is doing everything they can to accommodate the rush of calls. “We are going to triage the patients that are certainly overdue for testing and screening that needs to be done and where needed we have extended hours or increased the capacity of the clinic.”

The advent of telehealth is believed to have changed general medicine. For those examinations not requiring face to face or physical observations patients of all ages are continuing to make appointments for phone consultations, even less tech savvy elderly patients on Medicare.

But there are circumstances that require going to a doctor’s office, and as vaccines become widely applied, the expectation is that most patients will have less anxiety about returning to the doctor.

photo: Getty Images

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