Millinocket Regional Hospital now has a way to connect cancer patients with doctors without the two having to actually be together.It’s through teleconferencing.Cancer Care of Maine suggested the program to the Millinocket hospital.Terrylynn Bradbury was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. She lives about five miles from Millinocket Regional Hospital, but had to travel to Bangor to see her doctor.Bradbury says, “When I was receiving chemo every two weeks, I had to go to Bangor to have an exam by him. I had my first chemo in Bangor and I was very sick with the first treatment. I can remember the ride home was horrible.”But this time, Bradbury didn’t have to make that drive.”How was the telemedicine experience?” asks Dr. Thomas Openshaw via teleconference. Bradbury responds, “Good!”Telemedicine uses video cameras to conference in a doctor from a satellite location, while a nurse practitioner does the physical exam. Those involved say it’s becoming more common in rural areas.Jackie Carter, a Family Nurse Practitioner in Millinocket, says “It helps bring some cutting edge technology right to the home front, which is hard in little Millinocket.””I hope it will give us some flexibility so we can respond to people’s need a little bit better. It will give us some flexibility in terms of being able to see folks more than once a month.” says Openshaw.Carter says this type of visit isn’t that different from a traditional one. Once the patient is in the room, the doctor is teleconferenced. Both Carter and the doctor review the charts and talk to the patient.”Dr. Openshaw is right there on the camera asking questions, it’s very similar to him being in the room.” Bradbury explains.”Then I go ahead and I do the actual physical exam. He can view it while I’m on camera and once the physical exam is completed, if there’s nothing abnormal, then we formulate a plan.” says Carter.Carter says telemedicine will provide quality care, and eliminate the long drive to a distant hospital.