Why Google isn’t a Great Doctor
We all know that if we turn to google to diagnose our health concern we’ll likely walk away thinking we have cancer. But there are far more reasons to see a health care provider in person.
The Healing Relationship
The doctor-patient relationship is special. It is centered on caring for the patient and on improving their welfare, in some ways mimicking a parent-child relationship, and vastly different from a typical business partnership. Both parties are present in the room for one reason, to improve the patient’s welfare. We all need someone in our corner, someone to cheer us on when we feel intimidated or overwhelmed. Further, having a chance to talk about our concerns and our health can give us a chance to reflect. It also provides a chance to ask questions and learn more about our bodies and health, empowering us.
Diagnosis is an Art
Naturopathic doctors spend a lot of time learning to gather information by listening to the patient and performing physical exams. Knowing what questions to ask, or what exam to perform can make the difference between an accurate, or a missed diagnosis. Experience also plays an important part in making a diagnosis, your healthcare provider will have likely seen your condition before.
Find the Root
A key part of naturopathic medicine is trying to find what caused the health concern. For example, let’s say you have acne. Is acne caused by hormonal imbalances, digestive issues or nutritional deficiencies? Determining the underlying cause dictates what treatments are recommended. A more personalized treatment plan that takes into account your mind, body, and spirit will often lead to faster healing.
At graduations, naturopathic doctors and medical doctors swear oaths to primum non nocere (first do no harm) and to care for their patients. But there are also legal obligations. Regulatory colleges are created in partnership with provincial governments. These colleges have a legal obligation to protect the public. In BC we have the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia. They administer exams to prospective naturopathic doctors (NDs), investigate complaints against NDs and determine if a naturopathic doctor is eligible to see patients.
When you’re seeing a regulated healthcare provider in Canada you can trust that they have been well trained. They will give not only the advice that will benefit you most, but also ensure that it is safe or will make you aware of possible risks so you can make an educated decision. When reading on the internet, not only can you not be sure if the advice is effective, is it safe?
It’s Not All Bad
The computer is an amazing invention that has forever changed our world. It has helped to bring healthcare to rural communities through telemedicine, is helping to revolutionize medical imaging and has lead to strives in medical research. It allows healthcare providers to better communicate and work together as a healthcare team, patients to research and better understand their health, and allows like-minded, or similarly afflicted individuals to connect, share information and support each other. Even in this time of great advancement, there is immense value in sitting down with someone who cares to discuss your health. It’s why family doctors and nurses are so valued in our society. So next time Doctor Google diagnoses you with cancer, your body just feels ‘off’ or you just want a regular check-up to stay on top of your health, consider going to visit a local health care provider. We’re always in your corner here at Edgemont Naturopathic.