Doctors Sometimes Turn to Google for a Diagnosis

If they are having a particularly hard time nailing down a diagnosis, sometimes doctors use Google, accord to an Australian study.

‘Googling’ aids difficult diagnoses

The research was prompted by an incident in which the researchers were treating a 16 year old with an acute subclavian vein thrombosis. As one of them explained that the cause of the thrombosis was uncertain, the patient’s father blurted out: ‘But he has Paget-von Schrötter syndrome.’ He had reached the diagnosis by ‘googling.’ Discussing their results, the researchers acknowledge that the role of diagnostician remains one of the most challenging and fulfilling roles of a physician. ‘Physicians have been estimated to carry two million facts in their heads to fulfill this role. With medical knowledge expanding even this may not be enough. Search engines allow quick access to an ever increasing knowledge base. Google gives users ready access to more than three billion articles on the web and has far exceeded PubMed as the search engine of choice for retrieving medical articles.’ Google Scholar, currently in beta form, is likely to be even more useful as it searches only peer-reviewed articles, they say.”

So, will that include natural health articles? I wonder.

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