In Defense of Google

My friend who teaches medical students recently told me of a tee-shirt that said, ” Please don’t confuse your google search with my medical degree.” For several years she has complained that her students were too satisfied with the information they got from google searches on medical topics. She tells them that their patients are getting the same information. In defense of the medical degree, the students are perhaps better able to understand what they read and they have probably done many more google searches on medical topics.

But it is amazing how good your information can be from a google search. I recently wanted to know about fibrous dysplasia. I don’t believe it was even a diagnosis when I graduated medical school. From the google search I was lead to a foundation for the condition. On the foundation website I was able to read recent actual research papers on the topic. You can’t get better than that.

Nothing makes one more interested in a medical topic than you or a loved one having the diagnosis yourself. People who have conditions often know more about their condition than the average medical person, hopefully not more than a specialist. In addition to the google search, they have personal experience of the disease. Doctors do well to realize this truth.

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