Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reply on article - "who needs a doctor these days when we have the Internet?" by Gary Brown

Given my indebtedness to the Internet in helping me to find assistance for my condition of empty nose syndrome, as well as a diagnosis, I offered a reply to columnist Gary Brown, of Canton, Ohio, who wrote the following article, entitled, "Who needs a doctor these days when we have the Internet?"

You can read this article at:

Below is my reply:

Dear Mr. Brown:

Thank you for your column, "who needs a doctor these days when we have the Internet?" I sort of appreciated the humor contained in it and I am glad your hand is feeling better - I was sooo worried about your poor hand ;) However, while the Internet can certainly be a source of worry, as you might wrongly 'discover' you have this or that self-diagnosis, I find it to be an extremely valuable source of health information. Granted, I read everything with a critical mind, but I research medical articles on (and can think for myself on them), learn more about different health problems, learn treatment strategies for coping with health problems, and natural remedies (free of side effects caused by prescription drugs). The best part is I don't need to wait an hour or two to talk to a "hurried" know-it-all doctor. I can then utilize my newfound knowledge and maybe seek 'expert' advice from doctors, who are woefully ignorant on nutrition and reluctant to believe anything that can't be replicated in a double-blind study, so we can work together for the best possible outcome. Pardon the sarcasm, as I genuinely believe (and have found some) doctors who can play an important role in people's health; it's just that many overpaid, overworked, proud doctors don't or can't and ultimately, as patients, we need to be our own doctors and take control of our health.

Frankly, I would not even know I had "empty nose syndrome," which was later confirmed by a doctor 6 1/2 years after the onset of symptoms, unless I learned about it on the web because doctors are slow to diagnose it, let alone acknowledge it as a serious problem. (It's clearly a real problem with medical journal articles on it). Frankly, the Internet is a communication tool that threatens dictatorships and I think we should be thankful for it, if we have the IQ to filter the wheat from the chaff. I know my health is much better off because of it.

So I think you're right, on some level: who needs a doctor these days when we have the Internet!


Christopher Martin

I shared my reply with an ENS sufferer and friend, and he replied as follows:

Hey Chris,
Your response is very good. I think Gary Brown's point of view was one of trivial medical issues that many get all excited about for no reason. We, on the other hand, found out our major medical issue via the internet after going to countless doctors who were unwilling or unsure of a diagnosis.