Sunday, March 9, 2014

The four reasons not to trust the medical information in the media

Nowadays, there are enormous information regarding medical knowledge. The television broadcasts programs about newly treatment almost everyday. Some newspapers offer a special article of current medicines. We sometimes see the news about medical accidents occurred in a famous hospital. Most bookshops equip an identified corner to exhibit medical writings. In addition, there are innumerable website dealing with medical information.

Are you surprised if I declare that most of them are not trustworthy? Indeed, I recommend my patients not to watch them so frequently. They are harmful to patients currently suffering from illnesses.

Of course, I dare not to ensure all of them are useless. Occasionally, it is helpful for some patients to refer to such information. I had several experiences aided by the information I was taught by the patients. Nonetheless, it is highly estimated that you should avoid being exposed in medical information, in general.

There are the reasons:

1. Information from the media are inclined.
To begin with, media report is inclined as a principle. It is obvious that too ordinary facts are not valuable for news. Media does not report the successful treatment of common cold. In contrast, when a person died due to common cold, the media would report in detail. On the contrary, extremely rare disease tends to be reported by the media. However, it is unlikely for you to utilize the information on this infrequent disease.

2. Information from the media is not likely to be applicable to you.
Related to the previous issue, media may choose an extraordinary case as a material of the report. You can imagine as if you were the patient. But the real situation is different. Even if the media tells that a certain new treatment is innovative to cure the disease you suffer, it is uncertain whether your status is indicative of the treatment.

3. You would be biased to seek some particular information.
Everyone is anxious when get sick. You would be sensitive to some information critical for you. If you see a desperate case, you will be depressed unnecessarily. Or you may believe some excessively optimistic information without evidence. Both of them are harmful to you. The only persons who know your precise condition are you and your doctor in charge, not the media.

4. There is some misinformation.

Unfortunately, there are full of incorrect information about health. The technique of this region is developing everyday. Some information by the media are too old. In addition, you should be aware that there are some wicked persons to rob you of money. They are planning to take advantage of your feeling of unease.

Actually, I also sometimes make a mistake. Some media publish quite noteworthy information. Nevertheless, it is decisive that who is responsible for the health of the patient is the doctor. When you get medical information which shake you, I strongly recommend you to tell the doctor about it first, before calling to the TV station.

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