Ever get sick and end up Googling your symptoms? We're always a little tempted to self-diagnose, and sometimes Googling your symptoms actually helps! These doctors talk about the scenarios where they too use Google to help diagnose and treat patients. Who Knew!
1. I've worked in 2 emergency departments and doctors have no shame in googling something they don't know. It really saves them from making an error and allows them to continuously learn different things. In the ER you see so many different things and are bound to come across cases so unique that you hardly have any background knowledge. Anything googled usually comes from a reliable medical journal and docs generally cross reference to verify information.
2. 4th year med student here. My diploma might as well say the Google School of Medicine when I graduate.
3. We definitely do. We use Google, Wikipedia and lots of free and subscription apps to find what we're looking for. The difference is that we know a) how to word our search to find what we need and b) how to filter the crap and pseudoscientific results out. It makes a big difference when you search for, say, "allodynia and edema and blanching erythema" rather than "painful swollen and red" or can interpret articles and studies with a critical eye for their use of statistics (i.e. Looking for absolute rather than relative risk reduction, power of the study, inclusion/exclusion criteria, number needed to treat, efficacy vs effectiveness, etc.)
That's all stuff you learn in medical school, then as you progress through practice you get better at pattern recognition. Medical education is as much about learning how to learn as it is about what you learn in school.
4. It keeps saying I have network connectivity problems.
5. If anyone's come here looking for reputable sources of medical information that doctors use
Medscape eMedicine (free)
Radiopaedia (free - radiology)
Dermnet (free - dermatology)
Royal Childrens' Hospital Clinical Guidelines (free - paediatrics)
Royal Womens' Hospital Clinical Guidelines (free - women's health)
BMJ BestPractice (subscription, some pages free)
DynaMed (subscription, free trial)
ClinicalKey (subscription, free trial)
There are also a number of reputable sources of information for patients that we print out and give during consultations
UpToDate Patient Information
Royal Childrens' Hospital Kids Health Fact Sheets
Royal Womens' Hospital Womens' Health Fact Sheets
If you choose to use web-based resources please keep in mind that there is no substitute for seeing a qualified doctor and that medical assistance should be sought.
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