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Hey, Doctor Google, Why Are So Many Patients Trusting the Internet First?

Hey, Doctor Google, Why Are So Many Patients Trusting the Internet First?

There’s been a dramatic spike in reliance on the web to provide medical guidance, even though it’s common knowledge that you can’t trust everything you read online. The doctor’s office is still the most valuable resource for expert guidance out there, but more of us are putting googling ahead of taking the trip over to the hospital.

So, why are so many patients choosing the Internet over their General Practitioner? Let’s find out.

Sheer Convenience

It costs essentially nothing extra to browse the web for medical journals, blogs and other resources, not all of which are factually correct or backed by experts. Add to the mix online reviews of practitioners and medical forum posts containing all sorts of heated debates, and it can be difficult to determine what the truth of a topic really is without meeting with a medical expert in person.

It’s easy to see why people put web browsing before a visit to the doctor’s office but is it a smarter thing to do? While infinitely more convenient, affordable and capable of delivering a wealth of information at our fingertips, it’s best to discuss your situation with professionals you know better and trust.

Placebo Effects

Many would-be patients are easily persuaded to shrug off an underlying medical issue as not such a big deal, usually through interactions with others on social media and web forums. Holistic approaches and home remedies are all the rage, and you’ll find no shortage of articles highlighting them, and it’s not hard for a placebo effect to occur – in other words, the sensation that at-home, budget-friendly attempts are making an actual difference. In almost all cases, they won’t, and you could be putting your health at risk by not at least discussing with a General Practitioner. It’s easy to overlook warning signs!

Trust in Technology

For some reason, we seem to gravitate more towards digital resources and interactions than in-person discussion, usually linked through our enjoyment of using technologies such as smart speakers and cellphones. A lot of patients tend to trust a medical wiki or top-voted forum post before a doctor who can provide all sorts of effective treatments, especially if they’ve never dealt with them before. There’s a misconception that these professionals are “just in the business to make money,” but in actuality, their goal is to protect you from inaccurate diagnoses and guide you towards recovery. Sometimes it costs less and sometimes more, but it’s important to approach working with experienced medical professionals with an open mind.

In conclusion, the Internet is convenient, but “Doctor Google” is no replacement for a real expert! We’re all different, which is why it’s best to work with a General Practitioner who understands how your specific genetic makeup and the immune system behaves. Our advice? Browse online all you want, but don’t say no to booking an appointment at your local hospital or clinic.

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