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TV Interview: “Calling Dr. Google”: Dr. Ryan Shelton discusses online medical searches

Searching the internet for medical information? Online research has its place, especially for on-again, off-again conditions that are inevitably off-again when you finally get around to making that appointment. I visited with our friends at WCNC’s “Charlotte Today,” to talk about the right way to use online resources. Watch the full interview or read below, but be sure to see a doctor for an official diagnosis!

Consider the source.

  • Be sure to look at when the source was written. Is this the latest information?
  • Look closely at the credentials of the author. Does this person know what he or she is talking about?
  • Is there research cited that backs up any claim, especially ones that seem too good to be true?

Seek information, not a diagnosis.

  • Internet research can often turn up conflicting information or multiple results.
  • Use internet research to inform the list of questions you want to ask your doctor.
  • Avoid seeking a diagnosis you prefer, especially when one has been confirmed by your doctor.

Visit virtually: If you don’t have time to see a doctor or one is not accessible to you, research practices that offer a virtual visit option.

Use what doctors use: Dr. Shelton’s personal favorite website is uptodate.com. It’s easy to use, features physician-written content and has been shown to improve outcomes in patient care.