Why it’s Best to Trust Your Doctor and Not the Internet (Guest post)

| May 13, 2009

My best friend is a doctor and she hates the Internet, or to be more accurate, she hates the fact that people believe everything they read on it. She has patients who contradict her opinion and diagnosis and question her methods of treatment. Their argument is that they saw something different on the Internet. 

The problem with getting information off the net is that you’re not too sure about its accuracy. We live in the age of information – it’s available at our fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, and 12 months a year. It’s all around us, it’s pervasive, it comes to us even when we don’t want it to. And if you’re thinking that there’s too much of it, you’re right. The problem with too much is that you tend to get buried under it; you don’t know what’s true and what isn’t; and you’re in a dilemma as to what to believe and what to ignore.

That’s because information today is no longer unbiased; the source has a strong opinion, and this preference comes across in the news that they deliver. And that’s one major problem with the Internet; the plethora of information out there is simply too much to figure out. Even if you do find a reliable source, there’s no way to check the authenticity of the source because the Web is anonymity’s best friend.

When it comes to a matter of your health, you can’t be too careful. The advice on a website may have worked for a friend, but that’s no guarantee that it will work for you. It’s dangerous to diagnose yourself using guidelines from the net and take medication that you think is best for this condition you perceive yourself to have. It could have adverse consequences on your health, and more importantly, it could make you ignore what is really wrong with you.

Your doctor on the other hand, has access to a host of diagnostic tools and has years of experience in diagnosing and treating diseases. And this makes it a wiser proposition to put your trust in your medical practitioner rather than on a generic webpage.

Yes, for those of you who may point this out, this is just my point of view – that you must take what you read on the Internet with a pinch of salt. It may be true or it may not, but finally, it’s your gut instinct that you must trust. And either way, whether you rely on your doctor or the World Wide Web, you need to be prepared to accept the consequences of your decision.

 

This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of surgical technologist schools at her blog iScrub. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com


Category: Current Affairs

Comments (1)

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  1. astosauch says:

    Hello, I’m new here, I’m not sure if this is the place section to post this, I am Tom from Australia.