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Patients Dictating Healthcare (Google & WebMD)

Illinois Professional License Defense AttorneyPatient-centric care is what our healthcare system has moved towards, but when is that too far? What happens when patients start to tell physicians how their treatment plan should look? As patients gain more and more access to information, they may become a more informed “customer”; this can be both good and bad. Patients can have a better understanding of what their issue is, but as the saying goes ‘your Google search does not replace a medical/osteopathic degree’.

Patients often use Google before they see their physician. Patients want to understand what is going on before they see a doctor or to determine whether they will even make an appointment to see one at all. There are several problems with this approach, the most important of which is a patient believing their symptoms fit a hundred different diseases. This belief can cause an overreaction, and entering a physician's office very anxious and stressed. When this happens, the patients may start to ask for unneeded tests, procedures, and medication. Physicians are then put into a difficult position: should they try to calm the patient and assure them or give in and run multiple tests to prove that WebMD did not actually diagnose them with the diseases. In some cases, the patient could actually be correct in their assumptions and not be overreacting, so physicians must use their judgment on the best course of action for that particular patient.

Sometimes poor medical judgment results when doctors are pressured by patients, and this can cause multiple issues including overprescribing opioids or running tests that aren’t needed. Any of these scenarios could cause the physician a problem with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and their license. If a problem does arise, Williams & Nickl is here to help you get through that process and back on the right track. Our firm focuses on professional license defense to ensure the Medical Board does not violate your rights, and you have a chance to move on from your issue.

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