随身英语

Cyberchondriacs 上网自诊可靠吗?

随着网络的发展和智能手机的大面积普及,我们当中的很多人在遇到医学问题时会立即拿起手机上网找答案。可是网络上找到的答案一定都是正确的吗?这种“上网自诊”的行为可靠吗?本期《随身英语》讨论网上求医的利与弊。

课文内容

Vocabulary: health 词汇: 健康

How are you feeling today? I've got a few aches and pains, but nothing serious. However, when things become more critical, I would normally book myself an appointment with my GP – although by the time I get to see him, the problem will have probably gone away. That's because in the UK at least, we usually have to wait a few days before the doctor can fit us in, and then when we're at the surgery, we have a long wait.

Luckily today, technology has come to our rescue. There are thousands of apps available on our smartphones that can offer first aid advice and allow us to self-diagnose our ailments – ranging from a simple cold or flu to some exotic disease such as dengue fever. And together with the internet, we have a whole encylopedia of medical information at our fingertips.

But is this just what the doctor ordered? Is too much knowledge a good thing? By reading up on an illness, we discover its side-effects and what could happen in a worst-case situation. More worrying is that we give ourselves the wrong diagnosis, and then worry ourselves sick that we're going to die. This health anxiety, fuelled by the internet, is called cyberchondria. It gives sufferers a deep fear of diseases and, according to experts, it's on the rise. Professor Peter Tyrer from Imperial College London, told the BBC: "We find that approximately four out of five of our patients with health anxiety spend literally hours on the internet…. one of the first things we do in treatment is we tell them to stop browsing the internet."

Of course there is no doubt, the world wide web has most of the information we need to diagnose our symptoms but Doctor Tyrer points out "it doesn't have any judgement associated with it." This is why having a consultation with a doctor face-to-face still has its benefits, although a study a few years ago found many GPs felt intimidated by the increasing numbers of web-wise patients arriving in surgeries. One doctor admitted to not being very happy about patients using the internet, saying: "They all seemed to come to me with things I'd never heard of and very often with things which seem rather bizarre or inappropriate."

But Professor Sue Ziebland, from Oxford University, has spent 15 years examining how patients use the internet – including people with cancer. She found that doctors now routinely discuss it as a resource with patients during consultations so it becomes an everyday part of medical conversation. It would seem then that a virtual online doctor can prescribe a dose of useful advice, but technology hasn't replaced the human medical expert just yet.

词汇表

critical 严重的,危险的
appointment 预约
GP 全科医生
surgery 诊所
come to someone’s rescue 帮助某人脱离窘境
self-diagnose 自诊
ailment 小病
dengue fever 登革热
at our fingertips 近在我们手边
just what the doctor ordered 正是想要的东西,正是所需之物
side-effect 副作用
worst-case 最坏的可能
anxiety 焦虑,不安
cyberchondria 网络臆想病
fear 恐惧
treatment 医治
symptom 症状
consultation 问诊
intimidate 恐吓
bizarre 奇怪的,异乎寻常的
prescribe 开(药)
dose 剂量

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1.  Name the technology mentioned in the article that has come to our rescue with medical help.

2.  Why can it be a dangerous thing to research our illness on the internet?

3.  According to research, what exactly was it about patients that was making doctors feel intimidated?

4.  Which word used in the article means 'as part of the usual way of doing something'?

5.  What is the 'resource' that doctors now discuss with their patients during consultation?

2. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. The world's first elephant hospital opened in Thailand in 1993. Since then it has treated about 4,000 elephants for a variety of ______ from diarrhoea to cataracts, and even cancer.

appointments       ailments       anxiety       side-effects

2. There is a ______ that there will many casualties following the plane crash yesterday.

dead fear       deep fare       deep fear       feared dead

3. Scientists there have found exposure to sunlight releases a compound in the skin which can relieve ______ of eczema.

ailments       treatment       self-diagnose       symptoms

4. Research has found that older people are very ______ by computers and are confused about how to go online.

intimidating       intimidated       intimidation       intimidator

5. There is no treatment for measles, but two ______ of vaccine can prevent infection in the first place.

doses       symptoms       appointments       prescribes

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Name the technology mentioned in the article that has come to our rescue with medical help.
Apps on smartphones and the internet.

2. Why can it be a dangerous thing to research our illness on the internet?
We discover its side-effects and what the worst-case scenario could be.

3. According to research, what exactly was it about patients that was making doctors feel intimidated?
The patients knew too much medical information they had found on websites – they were 'web-wise'.

4. Which word used in the article means 'as part of the usual way of doing something'?
Routinely.

5. What is the 'resource' that doctors now discuss with their patients during consultation?
Medical information found on websites.

2. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处

1. The world's first elephant hospital opened in Thailand in 1993. Since then it has treated about 4,000 elephants for a variety of ailments from diarrhoea to cataracts, and even cancer.

2. There is a deep fear that there will many casualties following the plane crash yesterday.

3. Scientists there have found exposure to sunlight releases a compound in the skin which can relieve symptoms of eczema.

4. Research has found that older people are very intimidated by computers and are confused about how to go online.

5. There is no treatment for measles, but two doses of vaccine can prevent infection in the first place.