HO PLAZA—Cornell administrators announced Wednesday morning that the university will be renewing Cornell Health’s premium subscription to WebMD for next year. The online, publicly available health reference service has been the staff’s primary diagnostic tool for many years, according to university officials.
“Well, we can’t exactly ask the licensed staff members to know every single possible medical condition,” Cornell Health Director Amy Richards noted. “Do you know how hard that would be? It’s way easier to just use a freely accessible search engine that might get it right, like, some of the time.”
Students have really enjoyed the services at Cornell Health ever since they started relying exclusively on staff members’ ability to type symptoms into a search bar.
“I went in to get help with a tick bite,” commented Ajit Patel ‘21. “As it turns out, it wasn’t a tick bite at all! I had absolutely nothing to worry about, since the Google Image results looked only kinda like the thing on my arm. But the nurse practitioner did seem slightly concerned that I might have Eastern Equine Encephalitis because of my recent headaches.”
Cornell’s pre-med population has benefited greatly from Cornell Health’s dependence on WebMD, too. “Yeah, I saw a physician’s assistant for a sore throat the other day,” said Miranda Mercado ‘22. “It was awesome! The PA showed me the search results for ‘sore throat’ and asked me to help him figure out what was wrong with me; I thought whooping cough sounded cool, so we went with that. Such good training for medical school!”
In addition to WebMD, Cornell Health plans on investing in more polio vaccinations, iron lungs, and iodine tablets—all those modern medical marvels for the peskiest of 21st century ailments.