Online Doctor

A doctor must be a very committed person because they need to go through a lot of rigorous training.  It takes four years of undergraduate school and four years of medical school to become a doctor.  However, with increasing technology, it may seem that all that you need is internet connection.

The article is from WebMd, a website that many people refer to when they aren’t feeling well.  It provides a vague description of the illness, a bullet list of ambiguous symptoms, and possible remedies. Can these articles really replace a doctor? Can I diagnose myself using the internet?

This website lacks wisdom, an important quality in a doctor that cannot be provided by a list of symptoms on a computer.  A doctor uses all of the knowledge he has gained through medical school, previous patients, and the patient’s history in order to give each patient their own diagnosis.  Every patient reacts differently to each illness, and a patient can have symptoms not listed in the website.

It must be noted that WebMD is a business because they bring in revenue from advertisements.  Therefore, the intended audience is probably the ones who would gives them the most revenue.  Hopefully, the intended audience is people looking for a first sign of an illness and not an actual diagnosis.


5 thoughts on “Online Doctor

  1. Really interesting article! Ive always heard stories of people looking at WebMD and diagnosing themselves and getting paranoid when all they really have is a mild cold. I am pursuing a career in medicine and a few of my computer science friends were trying to convince me that computers will eventually take over the field of medicine. I couldn’t disagree more. There will always be a need for physicians in this world and no super programming can take that away. I would suggest maybe making some bold titles for sections of the blog and also maybe making it so the link doesn’t take me away from this page, but opens in a new tab (like we discussed in class). Otherwise, great stuff!

  2. Interesting post! I completely agree with the thought that people should not use WebMD as an actual diagnosis for sicknesses and diseases. I know many people who have gone on the site and have become paranoid because they think they have an illness that is more severe than what they actually have. In my opinion, I would rather see and trust a doctor more than an online website. But then again, there have been many stories of doctors misdiagnosing people’s illnesses or not being able to diagnose any diseases when people actually do have a severe sickness. Like the comment above, I think that you should make the link open to a new tab instead of taking us away from your post. Great post!

  3. This reminded me of the one time I ever tried to use WebMD. I ended up with a very vague write up with a few symptoms, but nothing of real value. Instead I ended up just going to a real doctor anyways. To me it will always be a better option. It baffles me how the website can simplify a broad and complex health issue and turn it into a page and a half worth of writing with lists. Good post!

  4. WebMD is great if used for certain purposes. While I won’t argue that WebMD won’t provide you with a specific diagnosis, if a person is in need of something like a basic treatment option for a cold than WebMD can help. While WebMD can’t be used to make a diagnosis it is still a useful medical resource that is, for the most part, free. WebMD should not be used as an alternative to a doctor’s visit however it can be used to help with one’s health problems in a quick, cost-effective matter.

  5. I like how relevant this topic is. There is alot of backlash in relation to WebMD as of recently. There is a funny meme of the website saying “Runny Nose? Cancer.” While the subject is not funny, the idea that WebMD cannot correctly diagnose you is. Most users receive a panic attack from the website because they type in mild symptoms and get outlandish and scary results back. You definitely have a negative opinion of the website and bring up a good point about it being a money maker. However, I wonder, does it have any redeeming qualities?

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