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Why It's a Bad Idea to Use the Internet to Get Medical Advice

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. The Bowling Law Firm are medical malpractice lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana. We see cases where doctors fail to diagnose patients, where hospitals fail to give patients the right dose of medications--with deadly and injurious results. Most doctors are skilled and qualified and they do their jobs well--which is why you should go see one if you are thinking about Googling some of your most recent symptoms.

According to QZ, more than one third of Americans have used the internet to diagnose themselves. As more health insurance companies require covered individuals to pay high out of pocket premiums or pay high deductibles, more Americans are opting to diagnose themselves. However, this can be dangerous. For one, you might research back pain and find yourself thinking you could have cancer. But, more concerning, is a case where you assume your affliction is a less-dangerous or deadly condition, when it is more serious. Take cancer, for example. In order to properly diagnose you with cancer, your doctor will likely subject you to blood tests and other testing, all of which cannot be done at home. With some conditions, like cancer, time is of the essence. This is why cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. Every day or week you wait to get a diagnosis is precious time you could have been receiving treatment.

Your doctor will also know your risk factors and health history and combine this information with his or her knowledge to diagnose you or order tests. Doctors also know which questions to ask you to identify symptoms that could be red flags for more serious conditions. 

Doing too much research can make you think that you know what condition you have, which can bias how you describe your symptoms to your doctor. This can lead to a misdiagnosis. According to Time, when doctors put a patient's symptoms into online diagnostic tools, they found that the checkers were wrong more than 50 percent of the time. WebMD's symptom checker was better at letting patients know whether they were okay to wait to see a doctor or whether they should see a doctor right away--but only marginally better. 

So, what should be the takeaway from all this? If you are checking your symptoms online and think you should see a doctor, even if the internet says you are okay, you might still want to see a doctor. Your doctor is the best person to diagnose and treat you. 

Even when some patients go to the doctor, doctors sometimes get diagnoses wrong. If you or a loved one was misdiagnosed, you may have certain rights under the law. Visit the medical malpractice lawyers in New Orleans at the Bowling Law Firm today. We can review your case and may be able to help you seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation 

1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1050 

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112 

Phone: 504-613-4561 

Toll Free: 877-757-3539

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