Add one more business to the ever-expanding Bitcoin retail sphere in San Francisco. In addition to sushi dinners, hacker hostels, cupcakes, and contraband, now you can also buy a doctor's appointment.
That's right. Meet Paul Abramson of My Doctor Medical Group, a personalized medical service that accepts the virtual currency in lieu of convention credit cards or legal tender. In a post on the group's website, Abramson stressed its commitment to privacy, and said that allowing the anonymous payment system helped insulate patients from a "financial system that can't easily be controlled."
It seems like a good harbinger for the famously volatile Internet currency, which hovers between mainstream acceptance and the specter of federal prohibition.
Internet Archive founder and Bitcoin evangelist Brewster Kahle says that when his organization offered clients the opportunity to open Bitcoin accounts in its credit union, the FBI objected. Yet just last week, Bank of America issued an analyst report extolling the virtues of the new currency. Someone even bought a Tesla using Bitcoin, albeit through a third-party mediator.
Abramson appears to be somewhat iconoclastic compared to other members of his field. Besides promoting alternative currency, he's also given media interviews about his office's use of self-tracking technology so that patients can gather data about their own bodily functions. He's published articles on the cost of healthcare and the salutary effects of fasting. He encourages people to monitor their health via iPhone apps.
So perhaps it was inevitable that Abramson would eventually coronate himself Dr. Bitcoin. Still, it bodes well for anyone gambling on the transaction system. If you can't open a bank account yet, you can at least get an immunization.