Q:

How do you ask for free medical advice online from a doctor?

A:

Quick Answer

While there is no substitution for an in-person consultation with a physician, several websites claim to offer free online advice from doctors, including DoctorSpring.com, Zocdoc.com and MDtalks.com. Each site has its own features, including searchable directories and physician referrals. Some, however, provide no verification of who is answering the questions.

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Full Answer

On Doctorspring.com, users submit a question and a doctor responds, generally within a few hours. The doctor is identified by name and speciality. It is also possible to click on a doctor's profile to view specific information about his practice, including location, phone number and a brief biography. Doctorspring.com doctors are from Australia, New Zealand, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Zocdoc.com provides a searchable, online directory of questions and answers. It claims that the submitted questions are answered by doctors from reputable institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital. No individual doctor signs the answers, so there is no way to verify these claims. Zocdoc.com also offers recommendations for local specialists, based on the questions submitted and read.

MDtalks.com is similar to Zocdoc.com. It provides a searchable directory of medical questions and answers. It is also possible to submit a question and have it answered by a doctor. However, as with Zocdoc.com, no individual doctor signs the answer. MDtalks.com claims affiliation with Johns Hopkins and USCF School of Medicine. There is no way to verify these claims on MDtalks.com.

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