• Internet Medical Information Dilemma.

    by Edriss Estime, MD
    on Nov 26th, 2017

The dilemma with Internet medical information is best cautioned by Mark Twain, albeit posthumously. "It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It is what you know for sure, but just ain't so." Mark Twain.

 
The world wide web, undoubtedly, offers an inexhaustible source of information. But we need to be very careful about how we utilize information fetched form this vast, unchecked and free to all source. That is, incomplete and uncontextualized information may be more harmful than no information at all.

For instance, John started taking his roommate's lisinopril because his blood pressure reads high a the local grocery store. Instead of seeing an improvement in his blood pressure, he started coughing constantly. Well, John knows that lisinopril is a very good blood pressure medication according to the internet, but there was no mention of lisinopril alone being ineffective in African Americans. His blood pressure was, in fact, climbing because he was using over the counter cough medications. Neither did he know that one of the most common side affects of lisinopril is COUGH.

An information may be correct, but incomplete; and may even be misleading.

I am certain that you will find an herb or some sort of pill that's good for any ailment if you devote your entire Sunday afternoon perusing the enthralling world wide web.

When you are very sure of a presumed fact and act according to that assurance, you might get yourself in touble. It's OK to educate yourself utilizing all modalities possible; but you also must verify the information so that it might be put in your context. Trust, but verify.(Ronald Reagan)

Author Edriss Estime, MD Medical Director

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