Updated: May 19, 2020
My first year of medical school, I called my parents every week CONVINCED that I had a new disease. By the time I called home with a new diagnosis of lupus, my mother sighed and handed the phone to my father. To be fair, every page in that medical book had symptoms that I could relate to. I was so glad that many people didn’t have access to those references because they would probably be just like me.
But then something happened: The Internet.
In the world of technology, more and more people have information at their fingertips. Of course, the most common way to find information now is through your favorite internet search engine. Unfortunately, people are being incorrectly “self-diagnosed.” Search engines usually do not have a personalized filter for the user or a medical professional approving each selected website.
Now, before you judge me, please understand that I am not “that type of physician” who bands the internet search engines from patients. I want my patients and you to read about your medical condition. Do as much research as you possibly can. However, make sure you realize that there is a responsible way of researching. Chest pain is not always a heart attack; hot flashes can be caused by something other than menopausal; and unexplained weight loss may not be cancer.
If you have concerning symptoms or health issues, go see your healthcare provider. Once you are informed of what is going on with your body, ask as many questions as possible. If you still don’t understand, then come back here so we can make it plain and simple.
Dr. Gina Simone