Sherpaa

Sherpaa

Most times we go to the doctor, the diagnosis ends up being something minor. Our sore throat isn’t actually strep; it’s just part of having allergies. The toe we stubbed isn’t broken; it just needs some ice. Sure, the trip to the doc gives us peace of mind, but at that point, we’ve taken hours away from our workday and spent more time in the waiting area than the exam room. The whole visit feels like a waste.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The future is here, and it’s called Sherpaa. OK, so that sounds a little dramatic, but once we found out about the online medical practice, we wanted to tell everyone we knew. All you have to do is sign up and download the app. Then, when you have a medical question or concern (say you’ve been getting headaches and want to know if they’re actually migraines), open the app, describe your symptoms, and an experienced physician will respond, usually within an hour. There’s no waiting for an appointment or trekking to a doctor’s office across town.

Typically, Sherpaa’s doctors send through a set of questions to zero in on the problem. The doctor may ask for a follow-up photo, video, or phone call to make sure they have all the information they need before making a diagnosis. Every time we've used the app, Sherpaa was able to offer a treatment option on the spot (including writing prescriptions and sending them to the pharmacy down the street). But if your medical concern can’t be treated virtually, Sherpaa will refer you to a trusted in-network doctor.

The service costs $40 per month, which may seem steep if you’re generally healthy. But anyone who’s dealt with annoying medical emergencies knows co-pays at the doctor’s office (or worse, the hospital) can add up. Plus, you can pay for Sherpaa with your flexible spending account, and if you use the coupon code GREATIST, you'll get 10 percent off. We can't imagine going back to the old way of doing things.

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