Doctors Warn Against Using Internet to Self-Diagnose Illness

by John McKiggan

There is an old saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

But what do you call a patient who diagnoses himself? “Dangerous.” At least according to Dr. Ross Upshur, a University of Toronto scientist and Canada Research Chair in primary-care research.

Self Diagnosis Dangerous
More and more patients are turning to Google and the internet to diagnose, and even treat, their injuries and illnesses. Doctors are warning people about the dangers of relying on unproven or inaccurate information that can be found while surfing the web.

I couldn’t agree more. Doctors are highly trained, well educated professionals. But even with their years of training, sometimes doctors make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes can have catastrophic, even fatal, consequences.

Why in the world would someone without a medical degree think that they can diagnose themselves by typing a few search terms into Google?

Patient Safety Starts With the Patient

When it comes to patient safety, the first step is making sure you get proper medical advice. That is something you can only get from a doctor (and watching Dr. Oz doesn’t count).

Please make sure you get regular medical check ups. If you have concerns about your health, call your doctor, don’t turn on your laptop.

One Response to “Doctors Warn Against Using Internet to Self-Diagnose Illness”

December 31, 1969 at 6:00 pm, Mariah Wallener said:

In my practice I frequently get presented with “evidence” obtained via an Internet search that claims certain medications can produce false positive results on drug tests, or that taking certain steps can induce false negative results. It is surprising how many people believe it’s true simply because they found it on Google.

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