Google is not a doctor

December 5, 2013

Hello! Hello! News flash! Google hasn’t spent any time at medical school, hasn’t walked the wards for hours on end, hasn’t spoken to any real live patients,hasn’t asked the pertinent questions, hasn’t learnt from doctors with years of experience and expertise, hasn’t seen real pain behind the eyes, hasn’t felt a cold and clammy hand, hasn’t watched someone turn blue, hasn’t laid a hand on any flesh, hasn’t felt a thready pulse, hasn’t talked to nurses about a patient,  hasn’t ranked the likelihood of each differential diagnosis. In short; Google is not a doctor.

Yes it can be useful for looking up information on a given disease but it doesn’t diagnose and it doesn’t take your specific circumstances in to account.

Google is simply a repository of information. Some good. Some bad. Some pretty ugly. I would say it is akin to a library, but a library has real people who choose which books are stocked. Google spews out the answers to the questions or key words you type in. Not in an order of likelihood of diagnosis, but based on how popular the article is. How well the authors have optimised their site so google picks it up. It’s not a quality assessment.

Unlike the doctor, google doesn’t listen to what you say and then ask a relevant question to exclude lots of possible diagnoses. Google doesn’t ask any questions. And any of the sites that do run those basic diagnostic  algorithms seem to end up with ‘Call a healthcare professional’ anyway so are a waste of time.

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME ANY PERSONAL MEDICAL QUESTIONS AND THEN SAY “WELL GOOGLE SAYS…..”. If you want to take your medical advice from google feel free to do so. Just don’t use it as if you are testing my knowledge and certainly don’t expect me to defer to its greater wisdom.


3 Responses to “Google is not a doctor”

  1. Anonymous Says:


  2. Anonymous Says:

    Google is a search engine…anything you find there is not to blame on them…remember

  3. Georgie Says:

    I’ve got this rash – I’ve Googled it and I think I’m allergic to Indonesian prawns. Will you take a look?

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