As most medical experts will tell you, it is not easy for a layperson to find accurate, trustworthy medical information online. Of course, there is no substitute for an in-person meeting with an actual medical professional, and individuals should definitely seek treatment for any emergency or potentially serious problem. For every day questions, however, there is a great deal of good information online. It’s simply a matter of sorting through the unless material to find answers that come from real experts. Here are some tips for navigating the world of online medical advice.
First, look to known sources, including major universities and hospitals. Many of these large institutions also maintain an online presence and share a great deal of useful information and health and research. If you have questions about diet or over-the-counter medications, consider looking up the website of your local hospital for regionally specific advice. You can also ask your personal physician for specific resources that he or she recommends. They will almost certainly have suggestions for honest, high quality online resources.
Similarly, many insurance companies provide online information and resources for all of your medical and health needs. It is in the best interest of the insurance company to provide only reliable and trustworthy information. It also saves them money to make that information readily available, so they often have a lot of material for their subscribers. You can also call your insurance company directly and ask for advice about finding online information that is reliable.
Finally, you can also find information online that is offered by genuine medical professionals. Look for experts with verifiable claims and authority. For example, if you’re looking for information about neurological health, make sure any online source has real neuroscience training, such as the doctors at Behavioral Health 2000. Check out the doctors that are profiled on online pages and make sure they are actually employed and published. If they are legitimate, their information is more trustworthy than that of a random lay person.
When in doubt, of course, you should always check with your doctor about any questions that you may have or advice that you find online. Don’t make any rash decisions based only on information you get through the internet. Do your research first, and check with multiple sources to get more neutral advice and suggestions. The best patient is an informed patient!