Scientist Heal Thyself?

When questioned as to where they go to seek medical advice, 44% of respondents to a Science Advisory Board-sponsored Instant Poll state that they rely on the Internet after their primary care doctor. Of the 300+ researchers who participated in the poll, only slightly more than one-quarter actually seek out specialists to follow-up with specific medical issues.

The traditional sources of information such as books and/or magazines and friends and/or family garnered even less utilization at 14% and 9%, respectively. Only 6% of those questioned would ever turn to a therapist (e.g., massage, herbalist, chiropractor, etc.) for health recommendations.
Scientists are a particularly savvy group of individuals when it comes to accessing and processing online information.

Through their daily work, they have become adept at securing often obscure bits for use in literature reviews, grant applications, database searches, manuscript preparation, etc. and hence employ these skills in their personal life.

The result of this adroitness and familiarity with the Internet has made them discriminating health care consumers. Scientists expect to retrieve medical advice quickly and on-demand, and this need for immediacy is best fulfilled via the Internet.



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