Reach Out and Cure Someone

A new 900 number offers medical advice by phone, but can it replace a family physician's personal touch?

Ah, the conveniences of the electronic age! At a time when everything from diaper and sushi deliveries to kinky romantic trysts can be had with a few touch tones, yet another novel entry has arrived in this vibrant market-by- wire. Why spend hours traveling to the doctor's office, leafing through out-of-date magazines, waiting for the healer to spare a moment of precious, not to mention expensive time, when one can now get instant medical gratification over the phone? Why not simply dial a doc?

That is the proposition being promoted on freeway billboards, along train platforms and in newspapers around New...

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