Clinical Pearls to Manage Cyberchondriacs

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Sir: “Doctor, I saw on the Internet that drug X works well for people with diagnosis Y. I think I have Y; can you try X for me?” This has become almost a daily statement in most physicians’ offices today. The number of people searching for medical information online in the United States increased from 54 million in 1998 to 97 million in 2001 and 110 million in 2002.1 A study of U.S. physicians in 2003 indicted that 85% of 1050 physicians polled had experienced patients’ bringing Internet information to a visit.2

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2008;10(1):75-76 [letter]