Monday, July 25, 2016

Docs who don't like patients who Google...


I really dislike visiting doctors.  There are a number of reasons why I hate seeing doctors so much.  I know I'll probably need to see one at some point, but for now, I do my best to avoid them.  And yes, when I'm feeling icky, I do Google.  I'm not ignorant when it comes to health matters and I firmly believe everyone should be educated when it comes to their bodies.  I guess I can understand why some doctors hate it when people Google too much.  On the other hand, some patients hate it when doctors, who are fallible human beings, assume they know more about what it's like to live in another person's body.  A physician may be an expert in medical care, but I am the expert on my body.  I have everyday experience with it. 

Maybe this phenomenon is really why I despise the medical experience so much.  Many doctors are overly authoritarian and talk to their patients like they are ignorant.  I'm not ignorant.  Moreover, because I am only focusing on myself, I have time to look for information that a physician with hundreds of patients doesn't have.  I also have more of an interest in doing that research because I'm the one directly involved and affected.  

I haven't seen a physician in six years.  The last time I went to the doctor, we were living in Georgia and I thought I was having gallbladder issues.  I still think I have those issues, but after an ultrasound, the doctor decided that they weren't enough to warrant surgery.  I wasn't actually hoping for surgery and was relieved when it wasn't recommended.  However, I am pretty sure I do have gallbladder issues because I have the classic symptoms and hit the four Fs... female, fertile, fat, and forty.  ;)  Many people have gallstones and never know it because they don't cause any problems.  I do get the occasional attack, though, and sometimes it hurts like the dickens.  I've had these issues for over ten years and know that the attacks are pretty much going to go away.  

The comments that came with this image were interesting.  A couple of people commenting claimed to be doctors and they hate having to waste time explaining to their patients why their Internet diagnoses are wrong.  They wrote that having to explain things to their patients often caused them to get behind in their work, which caused other patients to have to wait.  But I think any doctor who isn't interested in the patient's comments is probably not very good at what he or she does.  Sometimes, those patients who "self-diagnose" are onto something.  Aside from that, it's the patient whose best interest is served by a correct diagnosis.

So I guess I will keep Googling and avoiding doctors as much as possible...  Seems like the smart thing to do.



  1. Doctors should actually appreciate patients who google. Sometimes it means they need to provide fewer explanations. They should be gracious in responding to any polite questions related to conflict patients may perceive in what they've googled versus what the doctor is telling the patient. It's something for which they should be prepared to deal in this day and age. It's only after explaining, "this is what I see and why I see it this way and why I don't agree with what you've read on Web MD," when patients still want to argue, that I can understand the frustration. It still doesn't mean the patient is automatically wrong, though. Sometimes a patient may need to seek a second opinion. In other instances, we know of people who probably are not smart enough to synthesize what they've read on various websites and to compare and contrast this info with what a doctor is telling the patient. In such instances, I can see how a physician would be frustrated. Furthermore, not all websites provide equally reliable info. Some patients are dumb enough to get info from fringe sites and then to act offended when a doctor isn't impressed. I do wish doctors would be open-minded and not lump all googling patients into one clump. A bit of insight can tell a doctor whether he or she is dealing with an intelligent and discerning patient or one who thinks what he or she read from the Internet equivalent of the National Enquirer is valid medical information. Doctors also need not hold to the belief that they're the only intelligent beings on the planet.

    1. I take it you won't be an all knowing doctor once you finish school!


Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.