So, get ready to file this one I the “did that really happen” file—today has been dubbed “Google.com Day.” While I’m all for a good Google now and then, there are a few things for which I strongly believe a search engine should never be used. Here’s my rundown:
Do: Google a future employer before an interview
Don’t: Google a date before going out together. Unless you strongly suspect a criminal record may be involved in which case, I say, Google away.
Do: Google a great new restaurant or recipe.
Don’t: Google your medical symptoms!
This one, obviously, is at the heart of my post. Googling your symptoms is never a good idea—the world wide web is an amazing tool for so many things, but self-diagnosis should not be one of them!
Say, for example, that you are experiencing foot pain: go online and Google your trouble, and the internet could diagnose you with anything from diabetes to gangrene. Now, it’s possible that you might have one of those issues, but it’s also entirely possible that you sprained your ankle and just need to rest your foot for a while. The internet can’t know which one is the real scenario, however, because it is not human and cannot examine you.
You know who can examine you and give you an accurate diagnosis? Your doctor! Let’s revisit the example where you’re having foot pain, alright? Here’s what I want you to do: as soon as you notice unusual discomfort in your foot, toe or ankle, find the contact information for my Houston podiatry practice (you can Google it if you want, but it would be easier to just click on the link!) and come in and see me. Rather than giving you a best guess of what your pain might mean, I can conduct a thorough exam and give you a very specific diagnosis with a practical treatment plan. And that, my friends, is why a physician’s care trumps an internet search every time, even on Google.com day (which really doesn’t deserve to be a ‘thing,’ in my humble opinion.)