The Medical Committee has twenty-two members, almost all of whom are health professionals. The primary responsibility of the committee is to provide information and education on health matters to the SAR membership.
Health literacy is described as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” In a report from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, health literacy is further described as “the ability to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, appointment slips, medical education brochures, doctor’s directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex healthcare systems. Health literacy is not simply the ability to read; it requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical and decision-making skills, and the ability to apply these skills to health situations.”
Studies have shown that most Americans have quite limited health literacy. This is a very significant issue as more people, now in the millions, search the Web for answers to health questions. Studies have shown that the more anxious an individual is about finding answers relating to his or her health, the more anxious the individual ends up after the online search. A major problem is that with more and more websites to potentially search, more flawed and sometimes even deceptive information could also potentially included or considered.