(This is Part 2 of a 2-part series. You can find part 1 here.)
Almost everyone is susceptible to self-diagnosis from well-meaning searches, but some people are more prone than others. When I was in medical school 39 years ago, before the internet took off, we called it Medical Student Disease. It usually involved one or more of us, depending on what ordinary symptoms we had that day, wondering if we had the disease we were studying. It usually subsided when we got into enough detail about these diseases to realize we didn’t have them. I’m sure it’s a side-effect of the training of any healthcare professional.
Using Dr. Google to make a self-diagnosis in order to avoid seeking medical care, second-guess your primary care provider, or seek alternative treatments can cause a lot of problems.
Delaying the Correct Diagnosis and Treatment
Using Google to make a diagnosis may lead to a misdiagnosis and delay the correct diagnosis. It can be further delayed for those who have difficulty surrendering their self-diagnosis after seeing their healthcare provider.