Can I talk to my doctor about information I get about my medical condition off the internet? Are doctors up to speed with information on the web?

Studies show that over 100 million internet users in the United States are searching for health information on-line. More than half don't discuss what they find with their doctors. Only about 4 percent of the physicians polled give their patients tips on which web sites to go to for good information.

With internet use becoming so popular, doctors may best serve patients by asking them which sites they are using for their medical information. Sites with good (or poor) quality information can be identified.

Consumers should ask their doctors for reliable and accurate web links. According to a study at Brown University Medical school, physicians should steer patients away from commercial sites. University or other academic sites and medical groups like the American
Medical Association give the most accurate information.

David L. Greene, MD, et al. Lumbar Disc Herniation: Evaluation of Information on the Internet. In Spine. April 1, 2005. Vol. 20. No. 7. Pp. 826-829.



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