She is passionate about providing high-quality and accessible patient care through telemedicine.
Nothing is more important to us than providing our patients with the highest quality of care. At Felix, we’ve partnered with some of Canada’s leading physicians and pharmacists to ensure we can do just that. One such individual is our superstar Medical Director, Dr. Kelly Anderson. Read on to find out more about how she’s making the Felix platform safe, easy, and accessible for patients and why she encourages you to talk to your doctor about sex.
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m a family physician, board certified in emergency medicine and HIV medicine. I’m also the Medical Director for Felix. When I’m not working with Felix, I’m usually at my HIV primary care practice at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. At home, I’m a mom with two little boys to chase around.
What drew you to medicine and your specialties?
Family medicine is a rewarding job where I can help make small, positive differences for my patients every day. As for telemedicine, I got interested during my HIV fellowship. Some patients were travelling upwards of three hours to see an HIV doctor for follow-ups that didn’t require much of a physical examination beyond a weight and blood pressure. I started offering telemedicine HIV care and researching telemedicine in HIV to address that gap, and make care more available.
The benefits of telemedicine are huge for people who can’t regularly access their own doctor, as long as it’s done safely. For example, there are much better ways than a four hour walk-in clinic wait to offer women birth control. It’s about improving quality of life through accessible health care, which is what I’m trying to do at Felix.
If you could impart one message to people about their sexual health, what would it be?
People are understandably hesitant to talk to a doctor about their sexual health, and some doctors don’t routinely ask about it. If I were to impart one message, it would be that it’s okay to talk to your healthcare professional about sex. From birth control, preventing STIs, or an unwanted pregnancy to working through options for a low libido or erectile dysfunction — those are all things a physician can help you with. It’s normal to feel nervous, but doctors are trained to help with those sensitive issues.
What’s one misconception you think patients have around telemedicine?
One major myth we want to dispel at Felix is that telemedicine is not safe. It can be difficult to feel confident in a treatment when you’re not seeing a doctor face-to-face, or if you feel unsure whether the doctor has gone through all your safety information and medical history. Through the Felix platform, we’re giving patients convenience, but also in a manner that is incredibly safe and rigorous. We worked with specialists to make sure we’re asking all the critical health and safety information. With every single patient, we’re making a unique and informed choice about their health when we prescribe something.
What makes you excited about telemedicine or digital care?
Some would argue we’re facing a crisis in primary care medicine in Canada. In some provinces it’s worse than others, but it can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to find a family doctor. Patients are having to wait multiple hours in walk-in clinics for a brief visit with a doctor who doesn’t know them. There are lifestyle-related areas of medicine that are easily overlooked when people don’t have access to a primary care provider.
I’m really excited to give patients a safe, reliable mechanism to address some lifestyle health concerns that otherwise they may not talk to a doctor about. What makes me excited about Felix is that we are handpicking the few ailments that we think can be most safely and effectively dealt with by telemedicine to try to make it safe, thorough and convenient.
What do you think makes the Felix platform so valuable?
We’ve worked with some of the top urological and gynecological specialists in Toronto to create algorithms that assess for things like erectile dysfunction in an in-depth and standardized way you might not get in a quick, walk-in clinic visit. Our platform is a comprehensive, highly tailored experience. Simultaneously, we’re looking to address gaps in health education that wouldn’t be addressed elsewhere. We want to lead users through an education process in a way that is accessible, fun, but also adhering to guidelines and standards.
Feeling ready to share info about your sexual health concerns? We’re ready to help at felixforyou.ca.
The views expressed here are those of the author and, as with the rest of the content on Health Guide, are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare practitioner.