What you need to know about the new AMA (and how to ask it)
What you don’t know about what happens when you ask a doctor for a medical appointment on a website.
When you can ask a physician assistant for medical advice.
The AMA’s AMA App, launched last fall, allows you to ask for advice from a physician, a nurse practitioner, an OB/GYN or other medical professionals.
While the AMA claims it’s the first of its kind, the app’s focus is on health care professionals and they tend to have a bit more experience in their own fields.
“It’s important to know what to expect from your doctor before you ask,” says Dr. Lisa D. Sperling, president and CEO of the AMA, which is based in Washington, D.C. If you’re a new patient, Sperlin suggests you get your appointment with your primary care physician, who might be able to help you with some of the basics.
If your doctor has a specialty that’s not listed on the AMA App or if you’re looking for a specific health care professional, you can always email them directly, Smerling says.
Ask a doctor who’s not an expert.
You might want to ask a general practitioner or nurse practitioner instead of a doctor, says Dr., Dr. D. Richard Gebbia, an assistant professor of medical psychology at the University of Colorado Denver.
And some doctors are more experienced than others, he adds.
“If you’re going to ask someone for their opinion, that person is going to have some knowledge and experience.”
But don’t feel bad asking a generalist, because the AMA recommends that you first get a doctor’s opinion about whether you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for.
If that doesn’t work out, the AMA will provide you with a referral for a more qualified candidate.
If there’s no referral, it’s OK to ask your physician for a referral.
If the doctor doesn’t know what you’re asking, the best thing to do is ask them directly.
“The more that you learn about them, the better chance you have that you’re getting a professional answer,” says Sperlings.
Ask about other topics you can learn more about.
The best way to learn more is to ask about a topic you’re passionate about.
“When you ask questions like, ‘What are the biggest health challenges facing the United States today?,’ you’ll be able learn a lot about health care and how people are coping with them,” says Gebba.
If, however, you’re interested in a particular topic that’s been raised in the past and want to learn how that topic relates to the AMA app, you’ll have to go beyond that.
For example, if you want to know if there are any public health problems in your community, you could ask about public health programs in your area.
“There’s a lot of research that shows that asking questions about other areas can give you insight into the underlying issues,” Sperlies says.
“But you also have to be aware that they might not always be helpful, because if you ask them about something that you can’t relate to, you might not get a good answer.”
Ask for personal advice.
If a doctor asks you about something you’ve never heard before, Sconca suggests that you ask for their advice.
“This may not be the best option, but if you do it, it can help you,” Scona says.
If doctors and nurses don’t have the expertise to answer your questions, Saff says it’s also OK to take your own advice.
“[A doctor] may be able be more helpful in some situations, but sometimes the answer may be that you don.
That’s okay, because you can look at the data and say, ‘That’s not my expertise,'” Saff adds.
Get feedback from other members of the medical community.
Sconas points out that you should always ask for your doctor’s input, even if you don (or shouldn’t) have the time or resources to do so yourself.
“Your doctor is going the extra mile and listening to what your family and friends have to say,” Saff explains.
“You can also reach out to other doctors, who have a greater understanding of what you have to deal with, Satt says.
If no one responds to your AMA inquiry, Sabor says it may be a good idea to call your local AMA office. “
They’re going through some hard times,” she adds.
If no one responds to your AMA inquiry, Sabor says it may be a good idea to call your local AMA office.
Be aware of your rights as a patient.
The new AMA App isn’t the first time AMA has launched an AMA App and now it’s adding more categories.
But if you have questions about health coverage or access to care, you still have to follow the AMA guidelines.
“As an AMA member, you have a right to know and