Doctors say be cautious when seeking medical advice online - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Doctors say be cautious when seeking medical advice online

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Doctors say patients often look online for medical advice. They say while you could find the correct diagnosis on the internet, doctors say you’ll also find lots of wrong information. Doctors say patients often look online for medical advice. They say while you could find the correct diagnosis on the internet, doctors say you’ll also find lots of wrong information.
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Doctors say patients often look online for medical advice. They say while you could find the correct diagnosis on the internet, you'll also find lots of wrong information.

Heart Patient Vernon Lutes said the only doctor he trusts doesn't appear on his computer screen. Back in 2010, Lutes suffered a massive heart attack.

"They said if I would have been 15 seconds later, I would have been dead," Lutes said.

Lutes said he didn't have time to look online for medical advice, but even if he did, he said the internet is the last place he'd look.

"God put doctors here for a reason and one of the reasons was to save your life," Lutes said.

At Jackson Family Care, one doctor said be careful with what you find online.

"People do come in and they're very worried because they've Googled something and it came up with all these symptoms and worst-case scenarios," Dr. Sandra Zakroff said.

Dr. Zakroff said if you're looking online for medical information, use reputable sites like CDC.gov or familydoctor.org.

"You have to remember that anybody can put anything they want to on the internet.," Dr. Zakroff said.

Doctors say, for the most accurate diagnosis, you should come to the examination room.

"It could be something simple, it could be that you've pulled a muscle, but it could be something much more worrisome," Dr. Zakroff said.

Dr. Zakroff said there's nothing wrong with reading medical information online as long as you verify it with your doctor.

"I always like it when people actually come in and say, ‘I saw this online. What is your opinion on it? What do you think? Is this good information or not good information?'" Dr. Zakroff said.

Lutes is feeling good and following his doctor's advice. He says when it comes to health, he'd rather be safe than sorry.

"Don't play with your life, doctors are there for a reason, 911 is there for a reason," Lutes said.

Dr. Zakrodd said another reason to go to your doctor is because only he or she can decide whether you need tests or more visits.

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