Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Web MD Fails us AGAIN

Patient:Um, yeah, I need to check in and be seen by the doctor.
Hood Nurse: Sure, let's get you fixed up. What's going on today?
Patient: I think I have cervical cancer. I'm having all the symptoms.
Hood Nurse: Okay. Like what kind of symptoms?
Patient: Cervical cancer symptoms! Are you guys gonna check me for cancer or what?
Hood Nurse: Okay. Well, I can't put cervical cancer check in here for your reason for visit so I just need you to tell me what the problem was that made you come in today.
Patient: Well, I mean, like it hurts when I have sex and I got this discharge and I looked it up on the internet and it told me that was the symptoms of cervical cancer.
Hood Nurse: What color discharge? Is there an odor to it?
Patient: Yeah. It's yellow.
Hood Nurse: Have you been having unprotected sex?
Patient: Uh, yeah.
Hood Nurse: Listen. I don't want you to worry about this cancer thing right now, because your symptoms sound more like an STD to me at the moment. We'll check you here to be sure, and we'll give you a referral for a place that can do a pap smear to check for cancer, but I don't want you to get to anxious about this. Web MD says about 99 percent of everything is cancer, so yeah. Web MD is not your friend.


  1. There is a lot of BS on the Internet and too many people believe what they read without checking facts.
    Places like WebMd and the Mayo Clinic can be good resources for general information, but don't assume you have anything because of it.

  2. You'd think that if she is smart enough to access the internet and search of symptoms, that she could be smart enough to use condoms.

  3. I agree with Anon. It's too bad WebMD comes up to the top of searches. Mayo is better, but the imagination always fills in the blanks anyway.

    Last year, I developed a rash that looked like a ton of pics on the web. Sure, I looked, but I didn't self diagnose. I went to my MD and found out it was none of the above.

  4. Honestly...in my line of work, this comes up all the time. I try and tell them NOT to rely on internet self diagnosis...but they do anyway.

    It's when they start to argue with me and swear by their own self-diagnosis - that is when I give up.


  5. Patients with access to Dr. Google can be a truly scary thing.