Meet The Contributors

Mandy ~ I am a stay at home mom who has been on a medical roller coaster ride going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with me. All of the doctors agreed that there is something medically wrong with me, they just don't know what... Basically, just about every time that I go to the doctor, I wind up with a new diagnosis. It is very frustrating. I hope that some of these links will maybe help you or lead you in the right direction.

Ferd ~ I have had the honor and pleasure of practicing Internal Medicine for over 25 years. I am now enjoying sharing my thoughts and experience in the blogosphere in a number of ways. I am grateful to Mandy for including me on her excellent blog, Texas Medical Freak!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Medical Googlers – Is There Really A Need For Them?

Recently, I was sent an email about an article from Time magazine’s medical writer, Dr. Scott Haig. In the article “When the Patient Is a Googler,” he complains about one of his patients who is a “medical googler.” He did not like the fact that she was Googling information about her condition while he was talking with (or to) her on the phone. To make matters worse, before her appointment with him she researched his medical information and background. How dare she…If doctors would be more open minded, less condescending and believe in their patients more, there wouldn’t be a need for all of us “medical googlers.”

This all goes back to my last post Physicians And Hospitals Rating System. Correct me if I am wrong but there is a Patients Bill of Writes. We as patients have ever rite to research our medical conditions along with the doctors that treat us. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of really great, caring and knowledgeable doctors out there. I think that one of the biggest problems is that the medical profession has become so splintered and specialized. Your family doctor is no longer a “one stop shop.” Things that they used to treat they send you out for; x-rays, lab work, sutures, etc.

Take me and my own experience with; PCOS, FM, CFS and Thyroid cancer. It took nine years and countless doctors to get a diagnosis. All of them (excluding the ones from recent years) looking at me like “this woman is nuts!” I make a lot of reference to the TV show “House” as much as I love the show watch the show religiously, just in the hope that they do a show on me. I would never go to a doctor like Dr. Gregory House (aka Hugh Laurie), it would be nice to have a doctor like that with a better bedside manor.

Photo thanks to flicker


FerdC said...

Hey, M.
I like having well informed patients. Even more than that, I like them to be motivated to do what it takes to get healthy. It is usually a commitment to physical, emotional and spiritual change, which is hard for many people to do consistently.
The main problem with "medical Googlers" is people not considering the source of their info. There are many quacky sites, or simply reports of one person's experience. That doesn't carry a lot of credible weight, but people will put their faith and confidence in the dumbest things, especially if they happen to agree with it in the first place. And then it takes a lot of wasted time trying to explain why they are quacky. - On the other hand, there are many legitimate sites, and they help people better understand the problem and the solution. Nothing wrong with that! That's all good. You'll notice on my blog the educational links I recommend are almost always from the Mayo Clinic. You can put your faith in that!

Mandy said...

Ferd ~ Thanks again for your input. My favorite places for information are also Mayo, some of the government sites and the "dot" org sites. I never look for information in just one place, I always check and check some more. The internet is only a tool. I know with me sometime the information that I find, helps me ask the correct questions.
Mandy =)

Lin said...

Hi Mandy,

Anytime some health issue of some kind has come up, I always research it on my own, on top of discussions with my doctors. This could be relating to my children's health, my husband, my elderly father in-law, etc.

It's not that I don't trust doctors in general, or even my own doctor, it's just that I've found some doctors don't want to "scare you" with the details.

I want the details, even bit of detail to make an informed choice for my own health, or that of those I love.

I had to have a hysterectomy two years ago, and I wanted to know the details of the procedure itself, as well as post-op details of how I'd feel etc. I refuse to be an uninformed patient for anybody, and I don't care how specialized the doctor may be. It's my body, so speak up doc.

Mandy said...

Lin ~ Thanks for stopping by. I to do research any time I get a new dx or just in general. As far a scaring me, I doubt that you can =) I can't begin to tell you all of the doctors that I have been through in the past 9 years.

Sunny Daydreame said...

I am blessed to have a doctor who appreciates my research. I have PCOS, but I am one of those freaks who has it without the weight issues, and my insulin tests come back in the normal range...go figure.

Anyhow, my doctor has told me that she likes me being proactive with my health, and that she likes me understanding what she is talking the same breath she also said that if I ever don't understand something to stop her and figure it out.

Mandy said...

Sunny ~ It is good that you have a doctor that appreciates you. I finally have 3 who either appreciate my research or they are good enough to just put up with it? Either way, I think that I will keep them =)

As for your sugar problem and the weight. Before, my PCOS started I never had a problem with weight or sugar issues. My endo put me on the Metformin for the PCOS and she said that more than likely the sugar issue was from the PCOS. Since the Medformin, the PCOS has been better and my sugar stays more in the normal range.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment ~ Mandy

Julie said...

To me, it's similar to getting a second opinion. Nothing wrong with that. I wrote a similar post a while back and I feel medical googling can make us more aware of issues which we should discuss with our doctors. It should be used to assist, not replace, our doctor. I also believe that some doctors rush patients in and out too much leaving us with no choice but to turn to Google for more details. But as Ferd points out, we must be able to distinguish the good sites from the bad ones.

Mandy said...

Julie ~ Hi, and welcome! You and Ferd are correct, we do need to distinguish the good sites from the bad ones. They are not all created equal. ~ Mandy