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Columns

April 20, 2014

Web doctor always gets it right

If you’re like me, you probably don’t trust doctors.

I didn’t go to medical school. Didn’t play a doctor on television. Didn’t even receive first aid training with the Boy Scouts.

Still, I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips — even on my phone — and this has saved my life, and the lives of my family, many times over. I can’t say the same for doctors.

Frankly, I don’t know why anyone sees a physician at all, when the Internet can provide a better and more thorough diagnosis of practically anything.

Doctors are incredibly busy and often don’t have the time to thoroughly examine every symptom and possibility. Heck, there are 14 more lucrative co-pays in the waiting room and they’ve got to get you out and them in.

Sure, they probably care about our health in an abstract sort of way, but they don’t care about it as much as we do. If we die, they might feel bad for a while, but they’ve got plenty of other patients. But if we die, well, we’ll be dead.

I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to the doctor with an annoying cough, only to be told that “usually” it means this, or “99 percent of people” with those symptoms have that. You, however, would be shocked how often I’m in the 1 percent or “unusual” range.

The last time the doctor told me I only had a cold, I went home and looked it up. Yes, the cough could be a sign of the common cold, but in this case it looked a lot more like black lung disease — which fortunately cleared up overnight. Earlier this winter, my wife’s scratchy throat turned out to be whooping cough and the children both coughed up the symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease. If I hadn’t treated them with massive doses of black-market antibiotics, they could have died.

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