In modern times, situations the way they are, we are trying to limit our social interaction and presents out world is much as possible. We are turning to online solutions where we can, be it commerce, entertainment, interaction with others, or our daily lives as students or a workforce. These changes are permanent, and the way society works will never be the same even after this pandemic has ended.
However, we have to point out the importance of caution in one aspect of this. Given that medical professionals are overloaded dealing with the pandemic, it’s important to not stress the system further with trivialities, though emergencies and serious issues still warrant medical attention. However, we must be very careful, and we must exercise discretion and a little bit of inquisition when seeking online medical consulting.
Trusted medical information is very easy to obtain, but for the average person, it’s understandably difficult to distinguish such trusted medical information from the load of bunk that random people will post on their personal blogs. On the Internet, anyone can claim to be an expert on anything they want, and the echo chamber effect results in a lot of these people not being called out for giving bad advice.
In most cases, trusting these non-peer-reviewed sources of information just results in wasted time, frustration and, at worst, wasted money. However, it can actually be more destructive than this in some cases. There are many people out there that recommend consuming essential oils, toxic substances, or neglecting necessary nutrients, exercise or dietary inclusions in an effort to achieve health, or combat disease.
This results in serious harm, and in many cases, such “holistic” attempts to treat serious issues results in those issues going without being properly treated. In many cases, these issues could have been successfully treated should the right information have been trusted, but are left to achieve a point of critical mass where they are now lethal, and impossible or at best difficult to recover from.
Defining trusted medical information?
So, how do we define trusted medical information, so that we are getting our online medical consulting from the right sources? Ultimately, the best litmus test for this is, as mentioned above, peer-reviewed. Any publication needs to have peer-reviewed status, and other words, other professionals in legitimate medical fields having read and signed off on it.
When it comes to sources of allegedly trusted medical information, look at the pedigree of the people who run the site, the people who write for it, and those whom recommend it. A website providing this information will very proudly show this pedigree if it has it, so in absence of one is generally proof that it doesn’t have one at all.
While we aren’t ones to discourage faith, we have to say that any source of information that sites holistic, superstitious or faith-based treatment is one that should be considered actually trusted medical information, because scientific evidence is the sole basis for such things. While there is nothing wrong with including your faith in your quest for health or healing, it should take a backseat to hard science, as hard science is what is proven to work.