May 28, 2009
Pitfalls Of Getting Medical Info On The Internet
Interview with Lisa Gualtieri Professor Tufts University Medical School

Mike Carruthers:

It's very common to go online to get health information from the Internet, particularly when you're sick because you want to know what's wrong with you before you go to the doctor - but that can cause a problem.

Lisa Gualtieri:
People are not talking with their doctors about what they find online and in some cases are actually using the information that they find to determine how current their physician's knowledge is.

Lisa Gualtieri, Adjunct Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, says you can get yourself all worked up over nothing by doing that.

My advice for patients is that it's fine to go online but make sure that you're using credible, reliable information and talk to your doctor about what you find online and especially about any concerns you have about what you've read.

So why aren't people talking with their doctor about the information they find on the Internet?

I think people feel very concerned about, " I don't have very much time, I shouldn't be talking about this." And also many people are not comfortable talking about it or they don't know how to bring it up - but some of the responsibility lies with the doctors to ask.

And what are the best websites for credible health information?

The best sites that I know of are the ones that come from the government; the CDC, the NIH or the ones that come from specific organizations like the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association.

You can link to Lisa's website from ours: I'm Mike Carruthers and that's Something You Should Know.

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