Can Google make you a better doctor?
Mar 2, 2007
By: Robert Lowes
“The cases in the BMJ article deal with diagnoses so rare that most physicians will never make them in their lifetime,” Armstrong says. “Google is useful for them, but not for common conditions where presenting complaints are vague, like ‘nausea, fatigue, generalized muscle pain.’ Google would yield a morass of disorganized information with no built-in quality filter. I can’t think of a single person in the EBM field who would use Google on a regular basis.”
Armstrong says the BMJ study would have been more convincing had it compared Google with EBM search engines such as the TRIP Database (for more information, see “The best treatment? It’s at your fingertips,” in the March 4, 2005 issue). Interestingly enough, Jon Brassey, a co-founder and co-director of TRIP (www.tripdatabase.com), holds Google in higher regard. “Google isn’t anywhere near as good as TRIP,” Brassey wrote in a blog. “But it’s pretty fine.”