The goal of Personal Physician is to help adults better understand their medical concerns. It aims to simulate a health care professional who takes a patient history and provides recommendations. The software serves as a source of medical information "on call 24 hours a day... in the privacy of your own home."
In this simple, menu-driven program, the user first chooses from among 11 common complaints, 12 types of discomfort and pain, and five categories of health maintenance. After selecting the concern of interest, a series of yes/no questions guides the user through a decision tree and usually ends with a diagnosis, treatment recommendation, or course of action.
Personal Physician is easily accessible for reference. It can therefore provide reassurance and advice when a health professional may not be readily available. For potentially embarrassing medical complaints, such as male sexual dysfunction, the privacy offered by the program may be especially
Kohlstadt I, Dannenberg AL. Personal Physician. JAMA. 1994;271(22):1808. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510460102050