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Cape Fear Physicians Chat Online with Patients

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FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville residents can get doctors to make a house call without even picking up the phone every Tuesday night, whenCape Fear Valleyphysicians offer free medical advice and information on the Internet.

Dr. Shirish Devasthali volunteered two hours in an online chat room Tuesday night answering questions and providing information about lung cancer.

"Every time I hear back from somebody who says that, 'I stopped smoking because of that information,' it makes my day," Devasthali says. "It's really a good feeling to know that my input about something really helped change somebody's behavior."

Anonymous people in the chat room can ask anything they want about the subject at hand. Each Tuesday night from 7 to 9 p.m. there is a different doctor and a different subject.

The hospital is one of the only ones in the area providing this free service.

Hospital officials invite anyone with questions or concerns to get involved. They have been advertising on the local newspaper's Web site, in the paper, and on the radio, according to Webmaster Sean Fay.

Participating doctors say the chats are their way of giving back to the community. Many have signed up for future chats. Upcoming subjects include arthritis and prostate cancer.


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