“But Doctor, the Internet says so!”

“But Doctor, the Internet says so!”

Many of my patients google their ailments before they consult me. Is that a good thing to do?

Recently I heard one of friends say “Google is God !”

Actually reflecting on this statement it does have some truth, you never get a “Don’t know” from a google search. However all answers may not be correct. Google is an excellent resource of information for anyone, be it a doctor looking for an update, a patient searching information on his/her disease or a mother seeking dietary advise for her child.

But a point of warning, anyone can publish anything he or she wants on the Internet, just like I am writing this post on my website and google will find it. In practice, I find patients do search about their symptoms even before they get to a doctor and most if not all times, I find that they  have found information out of context to what they are suffering from. This causes unnecessary anxiety.

My simple advise is : don’t try to diagnose the medical condition, it’s your doctors job to find the problem and fix it. ¬†Once you know the correct diagnosis from your doctor, google to learn more. Searching with only symptoms will throw up a whole number of diagnoses. Such as a fever could be because of malaria, dengue or a simple cold.

When you do search for a medical condition look up specific medical association websites such as American Diabetes Association or a hospital website such as the Mayoclinic.

Search well !!

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