Google has changed the way medicine is practiced, or at least how patients practice medicine—but with some dangerous downsides! Let’s face it, we all do Google searches, trying to diagnose ourselves or find out what strain of Ebola or Hantavirus might have been lurking on the rim of our bathroom sink. But Google must not be where our curiosity ends as an online search will never compare to or replace the expertise of your physician. Never!
You Deserve Personalized Medical Care
I can’t tell you the number of times I have had a post-op patient, just days or weeks out from surgery, who said “I Googled my symptoms, and Google said I didn’t need to worry so I didn’t call you….”.
They mean well, but I provide clear post-op instructions that alert you to what is normal to expect and what is not. If you have any questions, I should be the one answering them—not Google.
Google doesn’t equal my medical degree or 27 years in practice.
Your friends, who are not doctors, do not equal my medical degree.
Facebook, Instagram, and random online articles do not equal my medical degree.
You deserve the highest quality of medical care, so regardless of what Dr. Google says—I urge you to call. Your health isn’t worth the risk!
Google Lacks Discernment
Absolutely anyone can publish anything online. When it comes to plastic surgery, you may Google your post-op symptoms and find a personal blog written by another patient who had the same procedure. While their experience may have some commonalities, you don’t know their full medical history or range of procedures performed—therefore their advice may not apply to you. A Wikipedia article might site studies and sound medically authoritative, but Wikipedia is an open forum where anyone can contribute to any article, even you. And if you find your way to an official medical source written by a plastic surgeon, they are not your plastic surgeon. They do not know your medical history or the unique details of your care plan. Only the surgeon who performed your surgery can weigh in on your surgical recovery and post-op guidelines with accuracy.
Google Can Cause Undue Anxiety
Beyond your plastic surgery recovery, self-diagnosis across all fields of medicine is contributing to a rapidly growing trend in hypochondria. Patients start out innocently enough by typing symptoms into Google hoping for a quick fix without having to make a doctor’s appointment—but end up scouring the internet for hours after determined they are dying. Sounds extreme, right? It happens at alarmingly high levels. A common scenario looks something like this:
A patient goes to their general care physician, says they are unusually tired, Googled it and have all the symptoms of a brain tumor. They have spent the last week, while they waited for their appointment, further researching their “brain tumor”, barely eating, tossing and turning at night, and planning for the worst. While their doctor wants to start with a preliminary round of blood and lab work, the patient insists on costly scans—because they have decided they are dying. Often, their symptoms are something easy to resolve, such as low iron, high-stress levels, or poor nutrition. The worry and costly scans could have been avoided. For some patients, once is enough to learn their lesson, but for others, self-diagnosis becomes an addictive habit.
Call Dr. Bash If You Have Any Questions or Concerns About a Procedure or Questions about a Surgery Performed by Dr. Bash!
Your health and your recovery are too valuable to risk on the results of a Google search. A board-certified plastic surgeon has 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 6 years of plastic surgery training, has passed a rigorous written and oral exam—and in Dr. Bash’s case, 27 years of experience after that! If you have a question about a plastic surgery procedure, please call Dr. Bash at 602-792-5789 to schedule an appointment. We like to talk to people, in person, face to face–not via text, not via e-mail, but with an actual physical exam and see the whites of your eyes. This isn’t old fashioned or out of touch. It is just good medicine and you deserve the best!