Medical care is not an option for everyone and more and more people are looking to self-treatment, even going as far as self-surgery, to fix their medical problems. The social web, primarily YouTube, has given patients a means by which they can learn how to perform procedures just by watching a how-to video.
Despite the obvious risks associated with self-treatment, it becomes an option for someone who may be experiencing financial hardship or who becomes frustrated with lengthy waiting times and is looking for a cost-effective, more self sufficient way of being treated.
Some 78% of American patients believe they can learn helpful information about their conditions by communicating with other patients over the Internet, according to a survey by the Markle Foundation.
Misty Zaugg, a blogger and unlicensed physician whose how-to video on removing your own stitches got 47,672 hits on YouTube stated, “You don’t need a lot of medical knowledge to perform certain procedures. In almost all cases, the main risks you run are infection or cutting into something you shouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean the knowledge should be inaccessible for anyone who wants to put the time and effort into learning. I think everything a doctor learns, your average intelligent person can learn without a degree.”