This site is secured using RapidSSL

Doctor, I've been on the internet again

Published on 19 February 2019  | Download | back to previous


This is an image from this news item. (click to view the video)I sat grim-faced in the examining room, waiting for my doctor so I could tell her my bad news.

"What's wrong?" my doctor, Milissa Cooper, asked, pulling a stool up close so we were knee-to-knee.

"I have colon cancer," I told her, as gently as I could. I won't go into the gory details, but I had all the symptoms.

"And how do you know this?" she asked.

"WebMD.com," I said matter-of-factly.

Did she just roll her eyes at me? I thought she'd be devastated.

I apparently wasn't the first patient she'd seen who had come up with an alarming self-diagnosis on the Internet. I probably wasn't even the first one she'd seen that day.

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Cooper has seen an increase in patients who come in with reams of research they have pulled off the Internet.

She remembers what it was like in medical school, where students diagnosed themselves with the diseases they studied. She admires her patients' desire for knowledge and takes their concerns seriously but worries they cause themselves undue anxiety.

OK, so it's more likely I have gastroenteritis or a bug, but I was imagining me with a colostomy bag instead of picking up a case of Activia.

The official term for this is “cyberchondria,” coined in 2000 to describe otherwise rational Internet users tapping out symptoms and latching on to the worst possible diagnosis.

Every headache is a potential aneurysm. Thirsty? I'm diabetic.

Dr. Cooper gave me probiotics, which helped, and ran some tests (all negative). She suggested I lay off WebMD.

Here are the new rules: I can use the Internet to clarify what my doctor tells me and to help me ask smart questions, but I can't make my own diagnosis.

At least not until I finish medical school.

Click here to read the original article sourced from EU AZ Central.

An image from our site
Digestive Cancers Europe
Scots House
Scots Lane
Salisbury
SP1 3TR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1722 333 587
info@digestivecancers.eu


Youtube Facebook Facebook
The information contained in this website is for general health education purposes only. Its objective is to give general guidance, and should not replace or be interpreted as a consultation with a physician or a healthcare professional. For any personal questions about your health, please talk to your doctor. Even if we try to keep the information on our website up-to-date and correct, we cannot guarantee that it covers all the latest medical and scientific insights.
Warning!!! Warning!!! Cookies are disabled Warning!!! Warning!!!