Web M.DON'T do it!
Since the popularization of medical databases like WebMD, people have grown accustomed to checking their symptoms online before consulting an actual doctor. While these kinds of sources can be helpful, they can also be pretty misleading – especially for hypochondriacs. If you’ve ever used the site, you’ve probably noticed that a simple search involving a sore throat can lead to WebMD telling you that you’re probably on the brink of death. It’s extreme, but hey ― sometimes people who are actually dying have a sore throat, so it is technically accurate. This is why it’s always best to talk to an actual medical professional.
As you can imagine, some people out there may not be as critical as others and as soon as WebMD tells them that their child’s pinkeye is some infection of brain-eating amoebas, they’re going to assume the worst.
The following stories come from real doctors and medical professionals who deal with “self-diagnosed” patients on a daily basis… and they’re rarely correct. It turns out that doctors don’t spend a decade in medical school for nothing.
Eat Your Greens!
I’m a pediatrician and a lot of parents come in thinking their child has cancer because they “won’t eat anything.”
Actually, they just don’t like vegetables and are eating themselves to obesity with the crap the parents substitute it with. (howsitgoingbob)
You’re turning violet, Violet!
I had a teenager and her mom came in worried she had some kind of serious circulation problem because her toes were blue. I looked at her feet and thought, “that’s not really the right shade for loss of blood flow.” I grabbed an alcohol swab and proceeded to wipe the blue color off the tops of her toes… I think it was from her new jeans. (JohnThurston)
The Sex Ed Dropout
Had a 14-year-old female come in wanting to have her prostate checked because she read that frequent urination is a symptom of prostate cancer. That was an interesting conversation to have. (emilymayrita)