Your doctor's secret: He Googles


If you've ever Googled your medical symptoms before going to the doctor, don't be shy about telling him or her your discovery. Chances are, your physician is digging up health information in exactly the same way.

Doctors are increasingly tapping the Internet for health-related information, and the search engine Google can help physicians diagnose difficult medical situations, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

When the doctors selected three to five search terms for 26 difficult cases published in a medical journal, Google spit out the correct diagnoses for 58 percent of them, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, lymphoma, Churg-Strauss syndrome, Brugada syndrome and cat scratch disease.

Article here.


Wow, that's about 50% better than I thought it would do. That still scares me a bit though. I can diagnose myself correctly about 60% of the time using the web, wait, since I'm a librarian I should be able to do better!

I'd feel better if he/she used the Merck Manual instead. You can get it for $42.99 on Amazon.

I would prefer that doctors work in conjunction with medical librarians that have access to robust authoratative databases and journals. (as well as Google)How about finding ways to have medical librarians working in closer concert with doctors? Using communication technology wisely (web, email, cell phone, video conference)medical librarians could play an important role in making sure that doctors had access to the best information to make decisions from whether they are in their office or wherever they provide patient care.