The ability of nearly everyone to get a possible diagnosis by way of the internet, and more specifically, Google, is making the typical doctor’s job much more stressful than it ever has been, as they have to explain themselves to a greater number of amateur diagnosticians, armed with the facts.

Choosing to trade a few queries on the internet for the sum total of a doctor’s training can be very dangerous, and is certainly not giving the doctor his or her appropriate deference.

[slashdot]

It’s one of the fastest-growing health issues that doctors now face: "Google-itis." Everyone from concerned mothers to businessmen on their lunch break are typing in symptoms and coming up with rare diseases or just plain wrong information. Many doctors are bringing computers into examination rooms now so they can search along with patients to alleviate their fears. "I’m not looking for a relationship where the patient accepts my word as the gospel truth," says Dr. James Valek. "I just feel the Internet brings so much misinformation to the (exam) room that we have to fight through all that before we can get to the problem at hand."

Perhaps before each of these queries, the prospective internet searcher should refer to Occam’s Razor, which will give some perspective. It also would be good to think carefully about what these armchair prognostications will do to your relationship with the doctor. Remember when, in whatever profession you work, someone with clearly less overall knowledge comes and tries to second guess you. It breeds a certain amount of ill will, no matter how well adjusted you might be. Do you want that between you and the doctor?

The Hippocratic Oath is a guide, not a mold, and the best of us are not immune to the quirks that make us human.

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alfred_e_neuman while we don’t need to go to the doctor as idiots, we should help with the symptoms, where we are the expert, and let the doctor take care of the diagnosis, where he or she is the expert.

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