More and more people are turning to the World Wide Web to seek advice or research about their medical situation. While the web is filled with relevant information, it is also filled with bias opinions basing their facts on their own experience. Nevertheless, there are those that provide relevant information but it is still best to confirm your speculations by making an appointment with your doctor.
Is there unnecessary fear created when searching for medical diagnosis online?
There is no doubt that the web is overflowing with information, that patients are more learned and informed when it comes to their medical diagnosis. This perhaps steers worry among patients and medical doctors for many reasons. For medical doctors, keeping up with web and internet news and staying informed becomes necessary to provide better service to patients who are more curious with their health. For patients, worry becomes persistent when they match their symptoms from a different angle and thus leads to misunderstanding. The patient becomes confused and additionally stressed of what they actually read online.
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What are the limitations of seeking advice online?
Seeking advice online regardless if the source is from a legit physician or practicing doctor has various limitations that may affect the patient’s understanding of her or his medical condition.
Online advice at the diagnosis stage even by an expert physician is limited by the following:
- They do not talk to you face-to-face. A good deal of data is acquired simply interpreting intonations in conversation and by observing body gestures.
- There is no real occurrence of physical examination which is important in making a diagnosis.
- Since there is no personal contact and actual physical examination, some medical doctors providing an advice could be on the defensive side. This creates stir among patients who tries every test suggested without actually consulting a doctor face to face.
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Medical Advice – When is it most useful?
Information in the internet can be most useful for patients as long as medical professionals are supplying the right advice.
- Confirming or research about a condition that had already been clearly defined by a medical doctor.
- Interpreting test results. When test results are confusing, the web could provide an explanation about these results.
- Getting a clear picture of a doctor’s diagnosis. The web can supply further explanation on a diagnosis. Thus, the patient gets to know the right questions to ask his/her attending doctor.
- The web becomes useful to doctors and may direct the patient to the web when questions are overwhelming and that they know the web could provide the answers to their queries.