More Americans Seeking Medical Advice Online
Updated: Thursday, January 10 2013, 03:52 PM EST
With high unemployment and rising healthcare costs, more Americans are seeking medical advice online.
However, potential conflicts of interests have been kept hidden by doctors.
Johns Hopkins Doctor Matthew Decamp recently wrote about doctors failing to disclose online all of the trips, meals and consulting fees they have received from pharmaceutical companies. Studies have shown that this money can influence a doctor and the care they provide.
Many hospitals have recognized the importance of social media in the medical realm so much that they have started a blog. The blogs are used for research and to find out what is important in the community. It also gives doctors a chance to post advice.
Decamp says while professional guidelines do exist online, a clear cut approach in how to achieve disclosure does not.
While some doctors say the money doesn't influence the advice they give to patients, others admit it does. Ultimately, patients seeking affordable healthcare have a right to know if their doctor is giving them honest advice.