Health Misinformation In the Digital Era

Ever try to find information on a concern, topic, or problem only to be bombarded with advertisements and completely irrelevant results?

The internet boasts an array of services providing solutions, but without ever LISTENING to your question or concern. It makes sense that you would want to fully understand a topic or problem before deciding on a solution or just a step farther.

Many people don’t know where to turn for accurate medical advice. After all, sifting through pages upon pages of info when your physical health might be at risk is a little different than browsing for tech gadget reviews. And that is an obvious understatement. But is it? Because we can assure you, most of our patients do search medical symptoms like they search for cookie recipes.

When you are sick, what do you describe first? Your inner-monologue may lead to something like this:

“Where is the pain located, and does it really warrant a trip to my doctor’s office? Let me consult the Google.”

And from there, you go down the rabbit hole.

With medical information at our fingertips, and this need to understand our bodies, self-diagnosis have become commonplace and almost normalized. Unfortunately, this method can, and has, led to life-threatening complications.

One solution is being more judicious and discriminatory in your search terms, but this still places the burden on the patient, who may not have the background knowledge to make such decisions. This is one reason we decided to feature a blog on our site. As an Obstetrics & Gynecology clinic, we will mainly be focusing on women’s issues.

Pregnant women in particular, can find a plethora of scary birth stories, procedures gone awry, and accounts of fatal toenail fungi on the intranet. You can add to your growing list of anxiety-inducing fears by simply searching your symptoms with a couple of keywords. Anything starting with “Pregnancy and…” is a strong start. Another popular search item is “Can I ____________during pregnancy?” These are sure to produce the most blogs posts written by non-medical professionals. Mommy blogs are fun, but we discourage using them as a health source. Even our blog posts should be taken with a grain of salt; they will never replace a trip to the doctor’s office.

Follow our weekly posts on TILII.- where we Tell It Like It Is.

In other words, we will be clarifying some information on the internet for you, but you do still need to make that trip to the Doc’s office.