People Are Just Realising What Doctors Are Actually Doing When They 'Google' Symptoms, And It Makes Total Sense

Honestly, I'm not mad about it.
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In a recent post shared to X (formerly Twitter), site user @benyahr jokily shared a meme of a concerned woman’s face under the heading “when your doctor has to Google something in front of you.”

But is that true ― and if it is, is it bad?

Well, another Twitter user, geriatric hospitalist Soumya Rangarajan pointed out that “first, we use UpToDate, not Google, and secondly, you really don’t want me to blindly reach back in my memory to treat, say, catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome, which I may see once in my life.”

“There are just so many more things we have to know. It can’t all be in core memory,” she added.

Other doctors seemed to agree

Dr. Margaret Ikpoh, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, told HuffPost UK, “GPs across the country will see more than a million patients every day... the nature of general practice means that we see a huge range of conditions every day, some more common than others.”

Part of that job involves keeping abreast of new medical developments, she says. As a result, “many of the clinical guidelines we use to support us coming up with a diagnosis or tools to help with appropriate prescribing are web-based, and we will often check these during our conversations with patients.”

“We may also use reputable medical information sources to support us as we make diagnoses and formulate treatment plans ― often it’s simply to remind ourselves of something, or to double check an approach, so we’d urge patients not to be concerned if their doctor is checking something online during their appointment,” she added.

“I always Google or UpToDate stuff because I want to make sure I am not forgetting or missing something. Be worried when they don’t do that,” haematologist Konstantinos Lontos commented under the original X.

Lots of people honestly didn’t seem to mind

“If you’re depending on a medical doctor who just goes from what they knew yesterday you may be in trouble,” neurologist D. King replied under the original X post.

“I trust a doctor who Googles more than a doctor who has too much ego to Google,” another app user responded.

“A good doctor will not rely on memory alone to diagnose and treat you, especially if your condition is rare or complicated. We use a variety of references, online and printed,” pediatric hematologist and oncologist Alex George added.

“And sometimes a Google search is indeed a good way to quickly find a reference.”

No wonder the original poster of the meme later commented, “This is a joke. I know why doctors look things up, and I am all here for it.”