Books from Readers Digest and others have been around to aid non-physicians in diagnosing their condition and see whether they need to visit the doctor’s office.
Well, why pay for a book when you could just Google your symptoms and come up with a diagnosis?
UK doctors fed key terms into a Google search and a top search result contained the correct diagnosis 68% of the time.
I tried it with red, itchy, stringy discharge, and sure enough: allergy eyes.
But then I tried red, painful, light sensitive, and that contained the full spectrum of differential diagnoses. I think one would have to have a medical background to know what key terms to search for in the first place.
So, I’m still going to tell my patients that they should come in for an exam instead of just Googling. 😉