General

Has Dr. Google given your patient cancer? What are your thoughts on patients "googling"?

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1 Jul 2016 - General
 

I found this article on my MIMS feed and found the views of different doctors very interesting. I have heard of patients who complained of a headache and after googling their symptoms they had brain cancer. There was another one who was scratched by his pet cat, googled this problem, diagnosed himself with Cat-Scratch Disease, got a headache, googled it again and then diagnosed himself with meningoencephalitis all in one day from the scratch.

We need to understand that our patients aren't health care professionals and did not go through the years of study or training. Google will give them rare diseases or the worst outcomes and they will believe it. Fortunately after doing so they would come to you and seek for your consult. It is when they self-diagnose and self-treat it would be a problem. I don't discourage learning more about their health and any disease they may have but the need to advise our patients to not self-treat is vital. 

Regarding the article linked below, "What doctors have to say about ‘Dr Google’" comes the question "Are physicians okay with patients consulting Dr. Google?" I am ok with patients googling but I would like them to get physically checked up and treated.

What are your thoughts and concerns about "googling"?

http://today.mims.com/topic/what-doctors-have-to-say-about--dr-google-?country=philippines

Our years of medical knowledge cannot be substituted by an unqualified source. I’ve always believed that little knowledge is dangerous. Surprisingly, this also applies to professionals! I am okay if patients will use it as an additional source of information, but all facts should be confirmed with a qualified healthcare professional. I can remember this particular patient who had headache for about a year. She kept on taking several “herbal” medicines, which she found online. Eventually she deve...
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Dr. Inserto, that definitely leaves us in very tight spot. Of course the experience of procedures are all subjective. Sometimes even the best patient education cannot calm the overly anxious patient. We just need to remain patient with our patients and do our very best in trying educate them on the importance of the procedure we are going to perform on them. I mean we don't do them because we get a kick out of seeing them in pain. We do it to help them. A lot of women fear to have a mammogra...
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Googling is a self prescribed investigation with ultra low sensitivity and specificity. It leads to high rate of false negative and false positive, As a result, it causes a lot of unnecessary paranoia from false positive and false reassurance from false positive. This leads to a lot of late diagnosis or additional unnecessary investigation ordered to pacify the patient. Sometimes, It causes anger in a physician when patient disagreed with the former's diagnosis by quoting google search resul...
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Other than Dr Google: How about patient reviews? It has happened to me a few times and it is usually about root canal procedures. I'll be preparing to work on a patient and he suddenly backs out because he reads somewhere in Google that "root canals" are the worst thing you could ever go through. These descriptions can be very vivid too and it really gets in the way of providing proper treatment. Of course I've turned some cases around with proper patient education, but you can...
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Sir Shaun, I am glad to know that the growth in your throat was a cyst and nothing cancerous. Google does make people highly anxious like what I mentioned earlier about when you have a headache and you think its brain cancer. Our minds can create worst case scenarios on their own, we don't need something else to support our morbid fantasies. There really is a huge volume of inaccurate information on google or the net as a whole, but we can't control that unfortunately. This is freedom of...
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We all need to keep a look out for Dr. Google as he/she has become quite notorious. From this point forward we will refer to searching of symptoms and consulting the net as "DR. GOOGLE" even if any other search engine was used. That is a very good point Dr. Parasnis regarding how our recommendations would not coincide with what Dr. Google has to say. I have heard from colleagues on how patients would argue with them about their treatment and other recommendations because Dr. Google sai...
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There is a saying that Half-knowledge is dangerous. That is exactly what google is giving its users. Incomplete knowledge without the wisdom to interpret it, that too in a health-related field, is very dangerous indeed. Most of today's patients are educated and have access to the internet and we cannot stop them from googling their symptoms or the name of thier disease and their treatment options. However, the real predicament arises when the information given on Google and the physician'...
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