The power of video calling from such sites as Skype has, without question, helped in a variety of professions, but could it be going too far? The reason I ask this question is that it would appear there is a trend beginning where doctors use Skype to make so called “treatment calls.” One doctor in particular has highlighted the issues by getting some pretty bad results by using the practice. Dr Thomas Trow of Oklahoma has for a while now been treating patients with mental health issues via Skype appointments. It has also been alleged that the ‘good’ doctor has been prescribing medication to these patients as well.
Well, this has got Trow in serious trouble not least for the fact that one of his patients overdosed 3 times in 6 months, the final incident sadly resulting in the patient’s death. The Dr. would apparently send a nurse to clinics to meet the patients and have them presented to him via Skype. Trow apparently felt that as they were psychiatric patients he did not have to see them in person to diagnose their problems.
This then is the issue, has Skype given people an excuse to be lazy? The doctor clearly to some degree had no desire actually meet these patients in person. He could literally phone in his diagnoses and as a result some one sadly took his own life. There really are some jobs that, although they can be done remotely, should only be done in person.