Have you ever played Dr. Google? It’s common in practice to encounter patients who have already done personal research on their symptoms, self-diagnose and self-treat. I love patients who empower themselves with knowledge about their health but I strongly caution against taking medical advice from the web – there is just as much (possibly more!) misinformation as there is good information.
As an example, there are a number of patients suffering from severe obesity who seek their physicians to address many problems that unbeknownst to them are related to their weight. Many are excellent candidates for bariatric surgery (the strongest intervention to put severe obesity into remission) and have been approved for surgery years back but decline it because of reading scary information from web forums . Years of pain and development of chronic conditions could have been prevented had they just addressed these concerns with their doctors.
As a physician, I’m more than happy to address questions that patients have about their health and ways to prevent chronic disease. Although we don’t know everything, we are well trained to find strongly researched, evidence based information. We often have specialty online resources or colleagues that we consult with to ensure you get the best care.
In good health,
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