Your GP and Dr Google: a good team

Your GP and Dr Google: a good team Many of us use Google to look up health information. Even doctors google. I often use the search engine to show my patients for example images of anatomy or skin problems. As more people become tech-savvy and websites get better, I expect that Dr Google will be even more popular in the near future.

A study published in the Australian Family Physician in 2014 found that 63 percent of patients accessed the internet in the previous month; 28 percent had sought health information online; and 17 percent had obtained information related to problems addressed during a GP visit.

The challenge is of course to find reliable information. To help you pick the right sources here’s a list of trustworthy websites containing useful general information about common health problems. These sites often show up in search results.

It is recommended to check with your GP or specialist that the information is applicable to you. Your doctor may be able to recommend some good resources too.

General health problems

Diabetes

Cancer

Heart problems & cardiovascular risk

Asthma

Mental health

Alcohol & drugs

Sexual transmitted diseases

Sexual transmitted diseases at www.sti.health.gov.au

Dementia

Incontinence

Of course this is only a basic list of Australian websites. There are many other Australian and international sites with disease specific information. If you know of a particular good source, please feel free to mention it in the comments section below.

One word of warning: Information on the web is sometimes outdated or incomplete. But occasionally it is deliberately incorrect or manipulated, for example to make you buy something. To help you differentiate the good from the bad, have a look at this post: 6 warning signs that online health information may be unreliable.

Follow me on Twitter: @EdwinKruysDisclaimer and disclosure notice.
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6 thoughts on “Your GP and Dr Google: a good team

  1. Hello Edwin
    What a timely article in light of recent conversations about Dr Google. Your GP and Dr Google can make a great team!

    A useful website for people seeking information about hereditary haemochromatosis (aka inherited iron overload) is http://www.ha.org.au
    This contains a number of specific patient resources incl a booklet http://haemochromatosis.org.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/HYQA_Ed3_2014Web.pdf
    and video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPu7gliKuYU
    Information on haemochromatosis is available from some other reputable sites too like http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

    Like

  2. Hi Edwin, great article and you’re absolutely right when you say that health information online can be outdated or incomplete. Our site has UK-based medical information which is always kept up to date to reflect the latest guidelines in our country (and European guidelines) and it is always evidence-based. One way to know information is trustworthy if it originates from the UK is to look for The Information Standard logo on websites – a quality mark for health information (which we have) which is supported by NHS England. Our international audience is growing too and we already have a substantial number of visitors from Australia and overseas.

    Liked by 1 person

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