Dr Wiki Won't See You Now…


WebMD, Netdoctor and the ubiquitous Wikipedia are in no way a substitute for actual advice from your doctor or walk in centre. The problem has become so bad that the Independent is warning people against such practices.

Delayed or Misdiagnosis

Wikipedia Can be Altered

"Don't use Wikipedia for medical advice" was the stern guidance given from the Independent newspaper. This comes after it found that factual errors were made in 9 out of a sample of 10 articles on the site detailing the most common conditions. Conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and back problems all constitute some of the conditions covered by the survey.

Although it is known that Wikipedia is not the most reliable source, people are looking to it to self-diagnose rather than going to their GP, this is becoming a dangerous practice. Although some of the articles are reviewed by medical professionals to analyse their accuracy, Wikipedia can be altered by anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

These web services may give you an indication of what you may be suffering before you visit your doctor, but they are by no means the end of your diagnosis. The NHS also has a symptom checker for various ailments which they acknowledge is only a stepping stone before visiting your GP or healthcare professional.

Don't Leave Your GP Behind

There are links on these various sites so you can verify the information therein, however when it comes to getting treatment you will still need to go to a medical professional. They have years of professional experience and knowledge so are best placed to conclude on your illness.

It's becoming harder and harder to get appointments with your GP and people are being told to not go to A&E unless it's an emergency. Using the internet as a one-stop shop for medical advice may lead to further injuries and the worsening of conditions that could have easily been treated.

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