The doctor isn't in, but he can still see you. More California hospitals are now using robots to help practice medicine. 

It's like using Skye or FaceTime with your doctor. Video-conferencing machines on wheels are allowing doctors to diagnose patients and offer emergency help from afar -- especially to patients in outlying areas.

They're about five-feet tall and project an MD's face on a screen, with mics and speakers for a real-time connection.

Dignity Health began using them about five years ago to diagnose patients suspected of suffering strokes.

They're at about 20 different sites across the state, including Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael.

The off-site doctor "beams in" to the appointment on a computer, laptop or iPad.