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Are You A DIYD? [POLL]

(Photo by Flickr/Martinak15)

Maybe you have a cough that won’t go away or you’ve found an unusual lump in a usually lump-less part of your body. You’re worried — could it be serious?

Visiting your local doctor used to be the first thing you did, then maybe to a pharmacy to pick up a prescription. But the Internet has changed all that.

DIYD (Do-It-Yourself Doctors)

Medical sites have escalated where users can plug a list of their symptoms into search engines and receive an instant diagnosis.

Everyone immediately feels like they went to medical school after visiting WebMD.

One proof of the DIYD trend is the surge of OTC (over-the-counter) drug sales. In the past fifty years, retail OTC sales have grown nearly 10-fold — from under $2 billion to over $17 per year. And I’m not talking just your occasional aspirin. It’s $17 billion worth of antihistamines, antacids, analgesics, laxatives, and lotions.

Doctors may not like the trend, but they are part of the reason people are turning to self care. Between 2004 and 2008 deductibles and co-pays associated with doctor visits more than doubled. Three in Five Americans say the are worried about medication errors in the hospital. (As they should be- According to the Institute of Medicine, hospital errors kill more people every year than either car accidents, breast cancer, or even AIDS)

So with medicines and medical information directly available – and doctors not well regarded – why not try it yourself?

Maybe Obama-care and health care insurance shouldn’t be the popular topic right now, but rather self care and the lack of trust in our medical institutions. I know DIYers are still having to go to the doctor for major issues (if they know what in fact is major) with financial burdens added into the equation they might be opting out of buying insurance.

Something to think about.


What do you think about this? Let me know below.

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