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 !”Ě
Actually reflecting on this statement it does have some truth, you never get a “Don’t know”Ě 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 websites or a hospital website.
Search well !!