The Spanish Society for Family and Community Medicine (FYC) and the Coalition for Citizens with Chronic Illnesses has setup a service for Spanish teenagers to virtually visit a real doctor in Second Life, the 3D online virtual world. The goal is to provide a space where embarrassing issues can be raised in privacy, without the blushing of a face to face consultation.
Real doctors will log on and offer advice to their anonymous patients. What both will see is an image of a consulting room with a doctor and a typical patient.
Dr Rosario Jimènez, of the Adolescent Attention Working Group, is one of the doctors who will spend up to four hours a week answering their virtual patients’ questions.
She said: "Teenagers do not often go to see the doctor but this is an efficient and amusing tool to reach them because we can both use the same route. Even though they do not often suffer serious illnesses, they often expose themselves to risks which can develop into problems in the future.
"This is a way to talk about their doubts about taking drugs or sexual relations which they cannot do in a traditional consultation."
More at The Guardian…