Off-the-cuff cellular phone consultations in a family practice

R. Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In Israel the public tends to make use of informal medicine alongside organized health services, and cellular phones now allow contact with physicians at almost any time or place. For three months in 1999 a family physician documented all consultations on medical subjects conducted by cellular phone, the phone being available 24 hours a day. There were 94 cellular phone medical consultations, of mean duration 5.8 min (range 2-18). Only 11 took place over the weekend, and 63 took place while the clinic was open. The most common reasons for consultation were advice on treatment (29%) and a second opinion (28%). In 48 cases the consultation was for a close relative rather than the caller. In 42 cases the request for consultation came while the physician was busy with other patients. The results of this small personal study confirm that the practice of informal consultations now extends to the cellular phone. Technologies of this sort demand new rules of conduct, if we are to avoid the various hazards of off-the-cuff medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-291
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


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