For all the Dr Google’s out there

September 6, 2016

There are few things I enjoy more than meeting another Dr Google. And I must confess to getting amongst it myself from time to time, checking to see if that bruise on my toe could potentially be a rare form of untreatable cancer. Heck, the sooner I know, the sooner I can book my one way ticket to the bahamas!

The increase in information available on the net is proving to be a wonderful resource for a lot of people, but, and this might come as a shock to some of you, not everything that gets printed on the internet is true.

An article titled “Is Wikipedia Dangerous To Your Health?” concluded that “9 out of 10 entries contain many errors”. Not just one error, MANY. Here is a quote from the article: “ U.S. researchers found that 90 percent of Wikipedia entries related to the 10 costliest medical conditions, including coronary disease and back pain, contained inaccuracies and antiquated data.”

A new site is offering hope for those of us who want to spend a little time investigating our health. Understanding Health Research is a free website that lets people assess the quality of research papers they stumble across.

Next time you hear that eating copious amounts of kale and/or chocolate is going to cure you from X, it might be worth enlisting free expert advice, rather than relying on social media.

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