Paging Dr. Google: Internet Research Stirs Up "Cyberchondria"
By Rahul Khare, MD, Emergency MedicineHealth and Wellness January 16, 2012
Does this scenario sound familiar? Have you experienced cyberchondria? Before jumping to conclusions about your health, take a deep breath and remember that it’s far more likely that your sore throat is the result of a virus rather than a serious illness. No matter what you may have found online, remember this one important rule: if you’re worried about a health issue, don’t hesitate to call your primary care physician and seek care when necessary. You should never be afraid to discuss your concerns and it’s perfectly fine to acknowledge that you searched online and are now worried. Just keep things in perspective, don’t panic and have an open dialogue with your physician so they can educate you, provide an official diagnosis and explain your treatment options. Educating our patients and helping them understand their condition is an important part of our job. The internet can be an excellent resource, but it is no substitute for a trained physician.