Millennials prefer WebMD over seeing an actual doctor and other disturbing findings

Nearly half of millennials (45%) say they are avoiding going to the doctor for a health issue, according to a new survey by health data firm Harmony Healthcare IT that surveyed 2,000 Millennials about how they handle their healthcare.

Millennials seem to be squeamish about the doctor: a full 41% have been putting off a health issue for more than a year. A combined 30% have been doing the same for three months to a year.

Along with convenience, keeping health care costs low was also important to the millennials surveyed.

One reason may be the cost: 57% of respondents preferred high-deductible insurance plans with a lower premium, a choice that allowed them to keep down their monthly bills.

Dr. Google

So where do they get their medical advice? The same place they go for dating, ordering toilet paper in bulk, and watching high-quality TV dramas – online.

Even though three-quarters have a primary care physician, the vast majority (73%) responded that they prefer to search online for medical advice on the web rather than seeing a doctor. Their top site? WebMD (82%), followed by news articles (27%) and YouTube (22%) and Reddit (22%). Yikes!

About half of the Millennials surveyed said they trusted the online resources they’d found to correctly self-diagnose their symptoms, although prevailing medical advice shows that this is the incorrect way to go.

Nearly half (48%) said they would prefer to see a doctor virtually rather than in-person. Even when they are forced to see a physician, nearly every Millennial surveyed (93%) still did their own online research even after seeing a doctor IRL.

Other findings

  • One in four has gone five-plus years without a physical
  • 42% aren’t getting physicals because they “feel healthy”
  • Two out of three aren’t saving money for medical emergencies

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.