Dr. Google has helped foster "cyberchondriacs" with health Q&As


A Pew study finds four in five American internet users have searched for health-related topics, which can lead them to misdiagnose themselves.

Kelsey Seybold's Dr. Steffanie Campbell said while she appreciates patients taking an interest in their own health, the chance of a misdiagnosis happens 95 percent of the time.

"Anytime somebody tells me they've Googled their symptoms, I do get a little nervous. My heart rate goes up because I don't want to have to argue with them about whether or not they have a brain tumor," said Campbell.

One in five people say the internet is the first source some to get health questions answered, according to a United Healthcare survey.

She said having information available any second of the day has been a learning process for everyone involved.

"Part of the curriculum in medical school is how to manage this onslaught of information with your patient," said Campbell.

She said the internet is a source of medical information, however, doctors are trained to filter what's actually happening with people's health. She added she enjoys taking a partnership approach to her patient's health.

Research found an informed person can advocate for themselves to the doctor. Their appointments tend to be more efficient because they have research, are prepared and have specific questions about their symptoms.


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