You’ve taken the decision. Or at least, you’re seriously thinking about it. You want to shed your physical ties to one geographic location while still pursuing your calling in healthcare. Embrace telemedicine video conferencing software and every patient of yours in a virtual video call online.You want to work out of affordable hotels with good internet connections “from the coast of Ipanema to the island of Capri”.
Or maybe you just want to permanently move to Kuala Lumpur, or enjoy the surreal mixture of luxury and harsh beauty that you can find in parts of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and various Baltic states before the encroachment of economic redevelopment destroys some of that unique character. Maybe you just want to jump in an RV and tour North America. Whatever you want to do, now is the time. In a way, you can be your own “Doctor without borders”. Or Healthcare professional of any type.
You want to do any and all of that. But you’re not sure about all the steps involved. The truth is, neither am I. Because every case is different. That said, we’ve come up with a few crucial things for you to do before you can embrace life as a “Doctor (or Nurse, Physiotherapist, Speech Therapist, etc) on the Road” relying on telehealth virtual meetings. Because as beautiful as it is to dream of a life liberated by telemedicine video conferencing solutions, your career is a serious matter and making an informed decision is as important in large life choices as it is in a health decision. Let’s walk you through these things every medical professional should do before hitting the road.
If you want to practice as a healthcare professional using virtual medicine video calling technology, you have to make sure you’re licensed in terms of your practice. For example, if you’re licensed in Bulgaria but you’re treating patients in India, you want to make sure it’s not illegal in Bulgaria for healthcare professionals to remotely treat patients located in countries where you’re not licensed. And ideally, you also want to ensure it’s not illegal in India for you to offer medical advice remotely when you’re not located in India, as long as you disclose where your licensing is active.
A number of people who practice remotely simply practice via virtual healthcare video call with patients where they already are licensed, since the jurisdiction of their licensing has no problem with jurisdictionally licensed healthcare professionals located at an international location practicing remotely with patients within the jurisdiction.
If you’re up for taking multiple licensing exams then that’s an option, but for the simplest way out, simply investigate where your current jurisdiction stands on you practicing remotely from abroad via video call virtual meetings. If there is legislation that makes it too complicated then go ahead and get licensed in a single, lucrative jurisdiction which allows you to practice from abroad and build your virtual video chat practice there. After that, you can leave and practice over there from wherever you’re located.
If you’ve already got a decent amount of liquid in the bank relative to your lifestyle, then you don’t even need to worry about this point. But if you haven’t gotten everything in order you might want to take care of this step. Not a crazy amount of money. Just enough to get you through your projected expenses for five or six months. If you’ve really taken the decision and you own any real estate or property you intend to sell, you don’t need to save either. That money or a portion of it can be your emergency survival fund.
Because yes, in theory, if you’ve gone about setting up your video chatting virtual practice correctly, you should be working from your first week as a nomad virtual healthcare provider. However, if for whatever reason your virtual practice takes a hit, you’ll need some savings to tide you over until you figure out your next move and how to get yourself some new patients without going somewhere you don’t want to, or spending more time than you’re willing to in one place.
In the point above I advised you to save for a rainy day because you need something to lean on when you’re on the road. But the truth is, you might never need that emergency survival fund at all if you plan carefully. See, the truth is that your loss of patients is inevitable. Hopefully because most of them get better, unfortunately because a few of them will want to see other healthcare professionals. It happens to all healthcare professionals. Video call telemedicine or not.
Now given that healthcare is traditionally considered a more ethical profession, it sounds a little mercenary to say this but you need to have an attrition recovery plan in place. Sure, you can just worry about getting new patients as some of your regulars phase out of your virtual practice, but winging it in this regard is not very protective of your newfound freedom.
Assign a budget to gaining new patients. Online adverts maybe? Or rather than assigning a budget, you can get paid to promote yourself! Maybe take virtual video conference speaking engagements? Perhaps giving patient awareness seminars via video conferencing or teaching other healthcare professionals at a virtual Continuing Medical Education event or other video conference? The kind our Banty CME service specialises in? Maybe build the ultimate attrition recovery plan by assigning a budget to gaining new patients from your earnings in virtual telemedicine speaking engagements? Those are just a few ideas to get ahead of inevitable patient attrition.
Now you’ve gotten a few ideas as to where to start. Good luck on wherever your journey will take you. To support your new endeavour, we’d like to offer you the chance to explore Banty Virtual Clinic at no charge. Try seeing your patients virtually on us for a while.