I'll never forget the day when I heard a physician joke that the biggest 'problem' facing the population was the Internet. What he meant was that his patients would often go online to various medical sites to diagnose themselves. When they finally got to see their doctor, they would emphatically tell him what the medical problem was - even if they weren't even close in their self-diagnosis. I have even heard a doctor's annoyed voice: "You tell me the symptoms and not diagnosis."
But the phenomenon of consumers 'talking' to the Internet to receive some sort of medical information is a testament to how distant they may have grown from their primary care physicians. As time in a physician's exam room is getting shorter and waiting time in doctors' offices is becoming longer, accessing the Internet to find treatment options has become natural. Pharmaceutical companies are using this widening chasm and are beginning to see the advantage of omni-channel marketing to doctors as well as patients.