Medicine for dummies: Using WebMd to diagnose yourself

Web MD

You wake up sweaty and disoriented. Your head is pounding to the beat of an unseen drum as you struggle out of your bed. You wobble, as if you had just gotten your sea legs, and finally make it to your destination: the computer.

Thankfully, your fingers are barely affected, and you can type into your savior: Web MD.

Today, instead of going to the doctor when a scratchy throat surfaces, people tend to self medicate with the help of the website,

The website provides numerous search methods. If you know the certain condition you are researching, the health conditions and communities section is the place for you. Yet the search bar provides the most relief for those with specific symptoms.

Choosing to search by symptoms instantly redirects you to the website’s symptom checker, where you choose your gender, represented by a generic human diagram that can be likened to a Barbie doll’s anatomy.

After you fill in the necessary basic information such as age, the real fun begins: selecting symptoms.

On the diagram, you choose which region(s) on your body are experiencing discomfort, much like when you go to the hospital for a check up, minus the physical contact (your doctor slightly groping you) and social interaction (the nurse trying to start small talk when you can barely feel your right leg).

Instead of your doctor asking where you are experiencing pain and its severity, you select a category from the list: head, chest, arms, pelvic area, legs, back, buttocks, and finally choose from the possible symptoms that are related to that area.

From those symptoms you have selected, you are given possible conditions and brief information about all of them.

To this, I say there are somethings you have to make a visit to the doctor for.

If you were bitten by a dog with a foaming mouth and a crazy look in its eye, it may  be a good idea to visit a professional instead of just doing the suggested treatment: icing the inflamed area.

Hospital visits are expensive without insurance, and many of us don’t even have the time to make an appointment.Yet in this case, an apple a day is not going to resolve a frostbitten big toe.

This website is helpful in finding out what could possibly be wrong with you, but there are always those freak cases where a simple stomach flu becomes a fight to live. Take the show, “House,” for example; you never know what you might have.

That doesn’t mean that one should constantly check the website for symptoms when paranoia is the biggest problem.

In the end, WebMd only has two categories: You live or you die.

Choose wisely.