10. I went to the doctor last month, and she was like 'I'm going to be honest I'm not totally sure, but what I can say is it's not life threatening or serious at all. I'm going to ask my colleague quickly for her advice, and then after you leave today I'm going to google it, look around, and call you next week to to you what I found'
11. I'm a doctor and I have no problem checking my computer to look something up. Usually it is a website you pay/hospital pays for called Up to Date which also has a medication interaction program you can plug meds into to make sure they don't kill the patient. Wheeless orthopedics is pretty legit for musculoskeletal stuff. When patients bring in stuff from there it's pretty accurate.
Side note: when I'm in a room with a patient and I tell them I'm going to look at their MRI or X-ray on my computer in my office because I have a better monitor, it's because I have to go to the bathroom.
12. Veterinarian here. Yes, we look things up all the time. Medicine is an incredibly complicated subject, and it gets more and more complex every day as we continue to make new discoveries. No doctor, no matter how intelligent, knows everything about every condition. The difference between a medical professional and a layperson is that we have the knowledge and training to filter through the search results and identify reliable information. I am constantly asking myself questions like "Does this information make sense based on what I know about the pathogenesis of this disease?"
That said, I rarely use Google except occasionally looking for articles on Google Scholar. The amount of terrible information out there, especially for veterinary medicine, is mind boggling. Most of the professional veterinary organizations have websites with good information on them, and many have forums where clinicians share cases and experiences, so that's where I go first. I also keep a decent library of reference texts. At the end of the day though, I am the one who makes the final diagnosis, not the internet.
13. My doctor once talked me through what she could find about my symptoms on Google. It was a little surreal at first, but she explained how there are reputable medical journals out there and their search functions are rubbish and going through each one would take a long time, so they use Google fairly frequently when diagnosing and treating patients.
14. Med student here:
When a patient comes in with a complaint, the doctor's job is a cross between solving a puzzle and doing a scavenger hunt. You give your complaint and your history, and the doc's job is to ask focused questions and try to find out if you're experiencing any other symptoms you might not be aware about, and also mentally discard "symptoms" that the patient might think are related to the main issue but really are just something on the side. All the while, we're building as complete as possible list of all the possible things that could be wrong with you and eliminating the things we think aren't. Then we do the physicial exam or order tests to either confirm our main suspicion and rule out everything else that we haven't already eliminated.
Now your doctor doesn't have an encyclopedic knowledge of the literally hundreds of possible conditions that could be wrong with a patient when he's making this list in his head. Especially if what you could have is rare or you have a stray symptom that isn't typically seen in that condition. In that case, Google can be invaluable. It's also helpful if you want to be directed to a site that will give you the most up-to-date treatment guidelines (since they're changing all the time for chronic conditions).
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