I Am Not Afraid of Google

IMG_8430I have patients every day say to me, “Doc, I know I shouldn’t have…but I Googled it and this is what I think I have…” They cringe and look sheepish as they wait for me to throw a temper tantrum.

Maybe there are doctors out there that have huge issues with this. Maybe they throw fits in front of patients. But I really am totally cool with Google. And WebMD. And anywhere else you want to look.

I will tell you why:

Because if you come into my office with some sort of knowledge base, it makes talking about what is going on much easier and it feels like we are working as a team.

So bring it on, people!

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27 thoughts on “I Am Not Afraid of Google

  1. How cool – yes, I am one of those googlephiles. It has helped and it has hurt at times. After looking online, I argued with a Derm. M.D that told me the lack of pigmentation under my arms was a fungus and not vitiligo. I paid for a prescription cream that didn’t help. I went back and he wanted to prescribe a stronger one until I said “Hey, I’m loosing pigment in my groin area too!” . A biopsy confirmed I was right.
    On the other hand, my obsession with wanting to understand all the pathophysiology about my PVC’s and 30 day holter results has turned me into a hypochondriac!
    Happy to hear such a fresh outlook on how you folks handle us wannabee doctors šŸ™‚

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  2. Actually, and I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty sure I have a medical degree from looking things up on Google and WebMD. But I’m sure we’ll always have a need for the traditional doctors.

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    • You can actually learn a lot on Google and WebMD! I use Google during office visits to pull up pictures of skin rashes on different skin types so patients don’t just have to look at the Caucasian pics in my old med school derm textbook…

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  3. I always think of myself as a doctor’s worst nightmare, for just this reason and more. Since I work in medical research, I look up everything, AND I discuss my ideas with physicians and pharmacists before going to my own doctor. My doctors are, or say they are, comfortable with that. But I outsmarted myself when I held off on a treatment for my Crohn’s disease that my doctor was leaning towards, but I was unwilling to take because of side effects. You know whT? Eventually I had no choice and went on the drug. And I feel terrific. If I hadn’t been such a know it all, I would have felt better much sooner.

    I have mixed feelings about the team approach. I’ve been a patient for over 40 years. It used to be that my doctor would say: this is what you need to do, and I would do it. Now, it is a team approach, and I who, even with more medical info/research skills/contact with folks who are in the medical field, find that I have too much information. Too.many choices. And I don’t necessarily make the best choice.

    I was happier just following instructions.

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    • There is the case of too much info and too much over analyzing. Stop it! šŸ™‚ I can give orders, for sure, for those patients that need that, but I do love my patients who ask questions and challenge me. I am a better doctor because of them. Rest assured that I am always very clear what is the right answer when there is one. Crohn’s disease is a particularly nasty player. Soooo glad you are feeling better!

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      • I just saw this in one of the newsletters I read for work, the Drugs Daily Bulletin:

        “Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care Research Findings (World of DTC Marketing Blog)
        Although the vast majority of consumers want to be involved in health care decisions, many typically let the doctor take charge of the visit. About three in five consumers either ask a few questions or wait for the doctor to lead the discussion and tell them what they should do. Conversely, 41 percent arrive with a prepared list of questions and make sure that they get the answers they need. Seven out of ten consumers will accept a doctorā€™s recommendation despite having their own doubts. Blogger Richard A. Meyer shares this and other findings from the 2014 Altarum Institute Survey of Consumer Health Care Opinions.”

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  4. I start seeing my own primary care patients in a few weeks! In my resident clinic, apparently our biggest problem is getting patients to show up at all, so I imagine I might welcome someone who shows up with a bit of their own research in tow!

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  5. I gotta say, this is one of my favorite posts. I keep coming back to it. I’m not a medical professional, but part of my job includes talking about things with patients about their care, and about their doctors, and we always encourage people to talk with their doctors, so I tend to hear negative things people say about their doctors a lot. This is so encouraging to hear.

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  6. Love your attitude, hope my Dr. shares some of it. I go in with tons of questions, rarely leave with an Rx, always medicine-resistant and wary of side effects. I can tell if I’ve gone too far by his body language…the telltale crossed arms !

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