As much as I know about the health care field, I am aware that I don’t go to the doctor as often as I should in terms of preventative care. Part of the reason for this is because I haven’t had any serious illnesses requiring medical intervention. When I get the common cold, I feel that I should let my body fight it off on its own. Unless I have a high grade fever, tachycardia, vomiting, and diarrhea (to the point of dehydration), feel that I have the flu or pneumonia, I typically won’t go. I know that for viral respiratory illnesses the treatment is to typically wait it out.
My general rule of thumb is if I haven’t started feeling better after a week or so, I’ll consider getting it checked out. I am not one to run to the doctors over every cough and sneeze. I feel that antibiotics are typically over-prescribed and can do more harm than good if you are not careful. A couple of the pediatric research studies I am working on are testing 10 vs 5 days of antibiotics and antibiotic vs placebo to see if the guidelines we have for treating certain illnesses, such as ear infections and sinusitis, are the most beneficial. While the final analysis of our data isn’t complete, I feel that once it is, I will be more concrete in my feelings towards antibiotic treatment.