Do you do medical research online? Join the club

August 16, 2012

Do you do medical research online? Join the club
Do you do medical research online? Join the club

These days, if you have an unanswered question, all you need to do is fire up your laptop, log on to Google and do a little bit of research. While this might be a useful way to find out the weather or buy a plane ticket, it seems that more and more people are using the internet to search for information that could affect their well-being.

According to a recent Pew Internet Product survey, many people log on to get health information online. Patients who are considering plastic surgery may even do their preliminary research into various procedures, whether it is breast augmentation or a tummy tuck, by poking around various websites.

The study looks at what types of people are most likely to go online for health information. According to the survey, just about three quarters of both men and women use the internet, but 86 percent of female internet users are more likely to do health research, compared to 73 percent of men who surf the web.

So what are women searching online? In addition to researching symptoms and treatments, they also are investigating various procedures, and using the web to find doctors or medical facilities. This is when search features like the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery's (ASAPS) find-a-surgeon function come in handy. Women and men looking online for a reliable doctor should make sure they are searching through accredited, experienced professionals.

Education also plays a role concerning who goes online for health information. According to the study, 91 percent of college grads in the U.S. go online, compared to only 64 percent of those who hold only a high school diploma. Of those internet users who graduated from higher education, around 89 percent use the web to do medical research, while only 70 percent of high school grads do the same.

Research also shows that those with a higher income are more likely to use the web for health research. Around 87 percent of upper-income web surfers partake in the activity, while only 72 percent of lower-income households browse online for health info.

Using the internet to do initial research into various procedures or search for doctors can be a wise move, but patients should understand that not all information found on the web is reliable. That's why it's essential for those interested in cosmetic surgery to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Doctors will be able to provide potential patients with all of the data they need to make an informed decision before going under the knife.

The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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