DOCTOR INTERNET – A REALITY AN ALLY, COMPETITION OR A RISK
-DR. XAVIER AGUIRRE OSETE
I remember when I was a college student in the seventies, getting a medical item was an adventure. The latter began with going to the library of the great hospitals, consulting the “index medicus” that great book larger than those of the Royal Academy of the Language and that it was not leafless, and being lucky that the magazine was available and the volume of it. Once this is achieved, request the photostatic copies (and that it will work) returning for them 4 or 5 days later.
Today, in a jiffy one can get this information and get a print and compare with multiple authors from around the world.
Previously the information changed every 15 or 20 years, today simply entering medical school and taking a degree may be enough time for the information to change.
This information came to us doctors wonderfully to be able to update on some subject or simply consult some news. For this, most of the doctors have taken courses to obtain the information, but above all to give the real value of what many years of study cost us.
Unfortunately, this information can fall on unsuitable or rather unprepared people and not give it the proper value by giving it a wrong interpretation.
People, in this case the patient, can be of several types:
1.- The hypochondriac, who suffers the most and his situation may now be worse and accentuate his problems.
2.- The curious, who did something improper against his health and wants to see the consequences.
3.-The shy one, who is embarrassed to ask about issues of sexuality or the urogenital system.
4.- The saver is not “enough” to pay for a consultation.
5.- The desperate, who does not have time to go to a consultation.
6.- And finally the dangerous one, the one who searches the internet for what is related to his diagnosis or illness to ask questions in the consultation to see how much the doctor knows or is updated.
All this harms the medical union professionally, socially and legally, which is why it is very important to instruct and educate our patients in the aspect of the internet and social networks. The doctor-patient relationship is very important to generate the vital bond of trust in the exercise of our profession and that it does not become a sick-machine relationship.
As doctors, we must make the patient see that he may make a mistake with his health, as well as delay a diagnosis that could cost him his life.
Dr. Internet, is your ally, your competition or a risk. What do you think?