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AMA boss says patients could Google their symptoms

Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon said doctors should not be annoyed if patients sought information from ‘credible sources’ on the internet

Patients looking up their symptoms online before going to a doctor could be beneficial, Australia’s top doctor advised.

Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon said doctors should not be annoyed if patients sought information from ‘credible sources’.

The veteran doctor said Googling their symptoms would enable people to have ‘more informed conversations’ with medical practitioners.

‘Providing online information is not used as a replacement for a face-to-face consultation, Australians should learn how to improve their health literacy,’ he told the Courier Mail.

‘I am aware that some doctors get annoyed when patients come armed with a string of questions on things they have found online, but doctors should listen and advise the patients accordingly. 

However, he cautioned patients to make sure they found ‘valid sources’ since there was a lot of ‘misinformation’ online. 

They should also take direction from doctors as they had more knowledge of the patient’s particular case. 

‘Online resources should not be used as a diagnostic tool or ever replace a face-to-face with a professional,’ he said.

One in 20 Google searches is health related, with diets, CTE, lupus, opioid addiction, and the cause of hiccups among the top queries

One in 20 Google searches is health related, with diets, CTE, lupus, opioid addiction, and the cause of hiccups among the top queries

Dr Gannon’s comments came after an NPS MedicineWise survey found three in five Australians turned to Google instead of making an appointment.

One in 20 Google searches was also health related, with diets, CTE, lupus, opioid addiction, and the cause of hiccups among the top queries.

Britain’s Royal College of General Practitioners last month urged people to see a pharmacist or read a reputable online source before making a doctor’s appointment.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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