No. of Recommendations: 1
If the medical profession could somehow communicate that the "common cold" is viral and not amenable to treatment with antibacterial antibiotics, the demand for short-term appointments would diminish dramatically.

My experience may be atypical, but are there really that many people who go to the doctor for a cold? (For themselves, not their kids.) I don't know anyone my age who would go to the doctor for a cold, unless it dragged on for weeks and weeks - it's too inconvenient to take time off work and arrange for child care and get an appointment and pay for it. But I mostly work with scientists and they know antibiotics don't work for colds. (I'm not sure if they remember that when it's their young children, but that's a different issue.) My older relatives tend to be quicker to go to the doctor, but most of them have other health issues that could cause complications.

I read a news story recently that said that coughs tend to last 3 or more weeks, even if they're viral - which surprised me. The "mom" wisdom was always that a cough that lasted more than a couple of weeks meant an infection - but evidently it doesn't. If I had a cough for 3 weeks, I probably would have considered a doctor's visit. But now I'll wait a little longer (if I get one - it's been several years).

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