Listen, we've ALL done it - when you're not feeling well or experiencing symptoms you've never experienced before, or your kids are sick and you don't know what to do in that moment, you google! You pull up the internet on your laptop or phone and you type in your symptoms to see what pops up. Or you pull up WebMD and type them in. Do we get it to get an actual diagnosis? No! We do it because we have questions, and internet has (for the most part) a lot of answers. We do it because sometimes it's easier and more efficient than calling our doctor or the nurse's line. And we do it because when we're sick and scared, or our kids are sick and we're all scared, sometimes we just need a little reassurance. Doctors are always telling us not to use Google when it comes to medical symptoms, but not all doctors. Some people in the medical field are fighting back against this No Google policy, and it's in the interest of their patients.
A physician I know shared this on Facebook. I blurred the names of products at the bottom. When will they understand that the public knows this but will STILL Google?! This is NOT how we should address this. pic.twitter.com/u4PIj5FvOh— Iris Thiele Isip Tan MD, MSc (@endocrine_witch) July 7, 2019
An endocrinologist on Twitter shared an image that was shared by another doctor she knows. The picture is sort of a dig at patients who google their own symptoms. Yes, we KNOW that googling our symptoms doesn't make us a doctor. Very few people actually take what they learn on the internet and self-diagnose or let it influence whether or not they'll see an actual doctor. But you know what? If you've ever been in a situation where you needed to know something right away, Google is your friend.
Or if you're unlucky enough to have a physician who doesn't listen to you or take your symptoms seriously, Google can give you the info you need to maybe start looking for a new doctor! It's so important for patients to be well-informed and do a little research, and it's equally important for doctors to listen to their patients and talk to them about their concerns.
When will doctors realize that the 5 minutes you spend with your patient will never give you the depth of understanding of our conditions that we have after living with them for years? Doing my own research is the only reason I have any answers for my chronic illnesses.— Alicia (@A2Rue1) July 8, 2019
And this is another great point - as educated and experienced as doctors are, they don't know everything, and they surely don't know everything about the condition you've been living with for years. If you need answers and your doctor isn't able to give them to you, where else can you turn? Patients have the right to be fully involved in their care. And more doctors should be less patronizing and more understanding when dealing with people at their most vulnerable.