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Cover Focus | June 2017

Google Vs Docs

How surgeons’ answers to common patient questions compare to information on the internet.

The self-diagnoser. You know the type: quick to jump online and Google the list of symptoms they’ve been experiencing to figure out what is wrong with them. Because who wants to go to the doctor when you can be the doctor?

Joking aside, we all know that Googling symptoms can be a slippery slope for patients. On one hand, it is smart to be well-informed; on the other, some of the things that come up in that Google search can be downright alarming. But with the breadth of information available today on the internet, many people find it just too hard not to have a peek before consulting with their doctor.

This is the premise behind our cover focus, as patients interested in cataract and refractive surgery—with their high expectations and demands—usually do their homework before consulting with their doctor. In order to compare what patients can find on the internet to what they will hear straight from their doctor, we’ve selected eight popular procedures or conditions in ophthalmology and asked surgeons to provide a list of the top five questions they hear from patients. In most instances, the answers are relatively similar, but, in others, the Google answer can certainly lead patients down that aforementioned slippery slope. We hope you enjoy comparing the answers for yourself—it could be an eye opener.

—Laura Straub, Editor-in-Chief