“Doctor, I am sorry to bother you at 2:00 AM, but I am in a lot of pain. Which would be better to take – two Extra Strength Tylenol or two 500 mg Acetaminophen tablets?”
“Did you read the labels?”
“They are both the same. Read the labels next time. Call my office in the morning.”
Doctors will always encounter patients who seem unwilling to take any initiative for their own health. They refuse to take a step without the consent of their doctor. Even with the Internet, they don’t make any judgment on their own. As frustrating as this may seem, doctors prefer this patient to the one who regularly attends the University of Internet Medical School.
Internet Medical School
The Internet Medical School is pretty amazing. Unlike regular medical school, it accepts anybody–just point and click. Doctors spend years learning how to diagnose illness; you can learn to do it in just a few minutes. And, unlike our pain medication-confused patient above, you can learn all the drugs you need here to overcome the illness that you didn’t know you had but you now realize you are dying from.
Be sure to bring your doctor up to speed on everything you learned. He or she probably hasn’t kept up with things since medical school. Be sure to bring information on all the websites you visited so your doctor can keep up with you; after all, you will need his or her signature to get a legal prescription.
Another valuable aspect of Internet Medical School is that if your doctor gives you a thorough checkup and finds one or two problems, you can go home or you can even use your cell phone to find three or fifty second opinions. Pick the one you like and confront your doctor immediately. If your doctor objects with your diagnosis, you need to find one that agrees with you as soon as possible. A misdiagnosis is dangerous, after all.
Think of the Savings
The other good thing about Internet Medical School is that you can save a lot of time and money when caring for your own children. No need to rush to the Emergency Room to check on a possible case of appendicitis; you can assess this on your own and then tell your moaning and groaning child that it’s only Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And how much more effective is it to say, “Not tonight honey, I have encephalitis.”
One vital class in Internet Medical School that isn’t available in regular medical school is “Cures your doctor doesn’t want you to know.” That’s right, that snake oil that you thought was just snake oil is really a good cure for testicular cancer. But you won’t hear that from your doctor. He gets all his information from medical schools funded by drug companies who spend billions of dollars looking for cures that don’t work.
All kidding aside, a little information can be dangerous; and a lot of information can be catastrophic when it comes from the Internet Medical School. It’s not that learning new information on the Internet is a bad thing. But becoming a medical expert takes years; and you should be aware that you don’t know near enough to be your own doctor.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Claire Hunt is a freelance blogger who specializes in health-related issues. She covers many topics including diseases, addiction, and other medical concerns. She also provides material for CIA Medical, a supplier of branded products, like Baxter, Terumo and BD.