Cysaidaho.Org

Internet cannot substitute for professional medical advice

March 26, 2016

"It's impossible to judge the effects on patients of information transmitted through cyberspace: we can't observe grimaces, tears and looks of uncertainty. And written dialogue is quite different from spoken conversation: replies may be delayed, phrases may be more stilted, tone of voice is absent."Ultimately, the core relationship between doctor and patient should not change, they write.

"Knowledge is said to be power and some of the past imbalance between patient and doctor may be equalized," they write. "But information and knowledge do not equal wisdom, and it is too easy for non-experts to take at face value statements made confidently by voices of authority."Physicians are in the best position to weigh information and advise patients ??¶The doctor, in our view, will never be optional."

Hartzband is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Groopman is the Dina and Raphael Recanati Chair of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is Chief of Experimental Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.

Source: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center