Cyberchondria –   Leave a comment

When Prof. Scott assigned this post, my first thoughts went to online “second opinion” sites. The idea of getting a diagnosis from an online source–which seems the height of turning an individual into a disease since the person is deemed unnecessary as long as the appropriate documentation (i.e. medical records, list of medications, medical history, etc.) is included–makes me squirm. You have to ask yourself who or, more than likely, what is providing this diagnosis, and is my health more than simply the sum of my symptoms?

I ended up settling on The site claims “YourDiagnosis asks questions about every body system. No symptom will go undetected.” For a cyberchondriac, a site such as this allows him/her to search out new and interesting diseases to suffer from without having to leave the home. I also chose this site because it is extremely vague about who is actually doing the diagnosis. According to the About Us section, the site was created by “medical experts from the online MacHealth health group, a subsidiary of the Australian Macquarie Health Corporation, with the sole purpose of improving the quality and safety of health care.” Three MDs are listed at the bottom of the page, but there is no indication whether or not an actual doctor is making the diagnosis.

During my searching, I did come across several second opinion sites that seemed legitimate (i.e. Partners Online Specialty Consultants), which are associated with specific medical facilities and often identify the specific doctor making the diagnosis.

I’m also including a link to an article in USA Today that talks about online second opinion sites.

Posted September 16, 2010 by lamothej in Uncategorized

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