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Healthcare Information on the Internet


Today many people are using the Internet for health research with technology enabling access to a thousands of sites and millions of bytes of health-related information and treatment options. The glut of overwhelming information often leaves patients confused and misdirected. Searched conditions include many symptoms associated with both serious and common ailments creating worry, anxiety and confusion about why we don’t feel good and hurt.


Popular search engines continuously change on what determines which content rises to the top of search results and it is not necessarily based on its relevance or accuracy. It’s always important to consider the source and not model a treatment plan based on Dr. Google. In some cases it is necessary to get an expert opinion on what we read to answer our questions and steer us in the right direction with a confirmed clinical diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.


Your Doctor or healthcare provider is your definitive source regarding your diagnosis and options for treatment. However forcing your provider to first debunk bad information before getting to the guidance he or she can provide to really address your concerns, can sidetrack your appointment.


It is more advantageous to begin the discussion with a more targeted approach allowing the provider to listen to evidence-based information about your problem. Then you can ask any questions about the results of your internet health research.


Use the following outline to organize your thoughts before meeting with your Doctor and be as specific as you can. Although patient use of the Internet in searching for and gathering health information is growing and has now become somewhat commonplace, a physician’s quality should have the greatest impact on your medical care with their advice the most beneficial to your health.


Use the following Internet Healthcare Research Outline for Provider Discussion when questioning your Doctor about what you read online.

  • I want to make sure we talk about

  • I'm interested in this because

  • The website I found this on was

  • Physician opinion

Web sites and social media as a tool in your healthcare can be beneficial however always rely on your healthcare provider to help you assess its credibility, understand possible treatment plans and help you make educated decisions about your care.




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