Gransnet forums


To wish Dr Google could be struck off

(36 Posts)
Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 11:03:24

Like, I'm sure, lots of you manage to frighten myself on a fairly regular basis by googling symptoms or tests that my doctor is sending me for and coming up with allki ds of scary scenarios, misinformation stc

AIBU to think we were better off without this tool available to us and it leads to a lot of unnecessary angst and scaremongering?

Fiachna50 Tue 21-Jan-20 11:11:40

I don't Google anything medical. Only for perhaps minor ailments. Googling can just lead to worrying yourself witless. I don't do it.

Sara65 Tue 21-Jan-20 11:17:31

I never do, much to scared of what I might find.

Elegran Tue 21-Jan-20 11:30:37

No, I don't think Dr Google should be struck off, only that young people should get education in risk assessment and logical thinking. It may be too late for many of the older generation, but if the young were routinely taught not to accept the most dramatic disasters or the worst-possible prognosis as the only and inevitable outcome, they might grow up able to better assess their own health risks, as well to weigh the results of political and financial decisions. Then the wealth of online advice, both useful and useless, could be filtered sensibly.

Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 11:43:57

Yes you're right. Also we should probably be careful about what websites we use and whether the advice being given is from a properly qualified doctor or some quack.

I also hate, and you see this on mumsnet a lot, when someone posts about a health concern and in the midst of the reassuring and careful advice accompanied by encouragement to make a gp apptment, someone comes on and tells the op that their aunt had the Exact SAME Symptoms and was DEAD within the month. It's so irresponsible.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 12:14:55

Elegran your post is spot on. Like all sources of information, it’s how we are able to evaluate and use them that matters. That’s what some people need help with. When I think how we’ve moved from the doctor being god, the one who decided if and what you should be told about your own body - thank goodness we’ve moved on from that.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 12:17:58

I used MN for advice and information before I underwent a particular surgery. It was great - advice on post-op clothing, realistic recovery time, help in dealing with certain after effects - certainly much more informative and practical than the information leaflets I was given by the hospital ( as good as they were tbf)

Doodledog Tue 21-Jan-20 12:21:37

I think that it is human nature to use whatever information we can get our hands on when we are worried. Before Google, people went to the library to look up symptoms, and there were numerous 'textbooks' aimed at the lay reader - I remember their being very popular when those Book Of The Month clubs were in vogue.

I am currently waiting for tests that could turn out to show something very worrying, and I have Googled - of course I have. I know I shouldn't, but I couldn't resist, and no, it hasn't helped my state of mind at all.

I think that mostly we do it in the hope that we will find something that will reassure us that things will be ok. That's not what we are likely to find, of course, as most of the articles will be about the prognosis or management of conditions, not about false alarms.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 12:27:27

I google Doodle in situations like this to give myself as much control as I can when worried.

Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 12:37:02

The problem with Google is that the information is often being given out of context. Drs know to weigh up all sorts of things, make connections, rule things out on order to make a correct diagnoses and have a complete picture of the individual's medical history.

Advice on Google is going to be at best generalised and vague, at worst irresponsible as the writer is not taking a wider picture into account.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 21-Jan-20 12:49:10

Never google medical issues, I use the NHS website.

Rufus2 Tue 21-Jan-20 13:04:09

were better off without this tool
You might be even better off by not consulting the good Dr., in the first place; but many others must be perfectly capable of judging the value of on-line info by assessing its website source.
Let others judge for themselves; we can easily ask our GP to clarify any doubts! hmm
Btw I always consult my bible "The Hypochondriac's Hand book"; my version was written by two doctors and based on the theme " for every symptom there's a disease"! Written in a light hearted vein, but very sensible. Check it out on Google! grin

FlexibleFriend Tue 21-Jan-20 13:17:32

No when I got my diagnosis of my auto immune condition which I'd never heard of I got masses of information on line and very little from the Dr giving the diagnosis.

janeainsworth Tue 21-Jan-20 13:27:38

I agree Fkexible.
I think it’s invaluable for finding out more about a condition you’ve already been diagnosed with because GP’s just don’t have the time to have long, detailed conversations with every patient they see.
Knowledge about your condition is empowering and enables you to have a more informed conversation with your GP should the need arise.

Calendargirl Tue 21-Jan-20 13:47:51

Before the internet, the worried well had to go into the library, sit down with a huge and heavy tome and peruse the information, couldn’t take it home to look at as it was a reference book.
I always hoped no one I knew would come in and glance at whatever ailment I was checking out!

jacq10 Tue 21-Jan-20 13:52:24

I remember many many years ago when the internet was taking off DD telling me never to read any advice given on a condition on-line except from NHS and I have followed this. She said some of the American sites would really lead me astray and worry me to death!! I find the NHS websites very informative and always give good advice on what support is available.

Marydoll Tue 21-Jan-20 13:57:14

If I hadn't consulted Dr Google before starting new medication, I wouldn't have known about a rare side effect that caused a life threatening allergic reaction, which I had to this medication. The doctors in A&E hadn't heard of the medication, let alone know the the side effects. A bit dramatic I know, but thanks to Dr Google, I'm still here to write this post.
In saying that, common sense should prevail. Elegran, posting wise advice, as usual.

PernillaVanilla Tue 21-Jan-20 14:02:17

Dr google only finds results to searches. If you only look at reliable sites there should be no problem. A dear old friend of mine became unwell with cancer 3 years ago. It was one of those cancers where there is never much hope, and I didn't want to make him unhappy by discussing the minute detail. ~the information I found on the MacMillan and another Cancer research site was very useful and when I knew there was no hope I was able to be far more supportive as a result.

Teetime Tue 21-Jan-20 14:21:49

In a way its no different from those Medical Dictionaries that people used to look in after a visit to the doctor or in my mothers case a post GP visit to the Lady in the Pet Shop whose clinical knowledge afr exceeded that of the GP and mine ( a highly qualified nurse).
I would wish that NHS Choices made itself more know so that people if they wanted additional information could look that up.

Yehbutnobut Tue 21-Jan-20 14:29:11

No Bewitched most of us (surely?) are not that stupid. Most of us have sufficient intelligence and powers of deduction and reasoning that we can use a useful tool such as the internet effectively.

I have certainly used ‘Dr Google’ to my advantage and saved precious GP time.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 14:38:19

I don’t just use the NHS website. Depending on the specific issue I might use the appropriate NICE guidelines, guidelines from the appropriate Royal College, the website from a reputable relevant organisation eg Diabetes UK, ThyroidUK, BHF etc. The NHS info is not very detailed and does not always include certain up to date alternative treatments that may be available (even if not widely) Its a good starting point

FlexibleFriend Tue 21-Jan-20 14:56:52

Well once I knew what I was dealing with I then found health unlocked and lots of other people with the same condition, who helped me find my specialist at St Thomas's and got my Gp to refer me to her. Without the internet I would probably never have got the help I needed, the local so called specialist was useless.

3dognight Tue 21-Jan-20 15:03:25

Just use the nhs sites, all easy to understand and non dramatic.

Allegretto Tue 21-Jan-20 15:18:43

The nhs site is great. So is Gransnet when seeking advice and from people with experience of life’s varied health issues.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 15:33:46

Agree FF I tend to go there post-diagnosis.