|    Join     |    Donate    |   Store    |   About NAMS
Facebook TwitterYouTubeLinkedinRSS

MenoPause Blog

Dr. Google: Dangers of Health Advice from the Web

by JoAnn Pinkerton | Mar 12, 2018

We're pleased to have a guest post from Dr. James Liu.

James H Liu, MD, NCMP

NAMS Board Member

“I’m just going to Google my symptoms.” The World Wide Web has rapidly become one of the primary ways patients look for information and advice when they are experiencing health symptoms. Medical information and advice is readily and easily available on the web, and it’s estimated that more than 80% of users have sought health-related information. Most consumers have used this route for medical advice because of its convenience, their concerns about medical costs, or the lack of timely provider availability or access. Although online medical advice is low cost, it can be high risk. A major weakness of Dr. Google is the tendency to assume that every website can be trusted equally. Information on the web is often not filtered by experts and also may be out of date. There are also multiple search engines that are available including Google, Yahoo, and Bing; however, most users limit their searches to one search engine. Most search engines overlap in listing the health information and the websites.

How can consumers without a medical background separate high-quality information from anecdotal experience or marketing efforts? Using the web to obtain health information can be effective for many users, but there is no gold standard for search engines or websites. Here are some helpful “Do’s” and “Don’ts” when looking for healthcare information:


  • Use government websites (ie, cdc.gov; nih.gov; medlineplus.gov)
  • Use trustworthy healthcare websites such as menopause.org
  • Use academic institution websites (ie, mayoclinic.org)
  • Consider WebMD.com
  • Visit websites of products approved by the Food and Drug Administration that also may provide discount coupons
  • Check with your healthcare provider before following online medical advice
  • Use common sense


  • Self-diagnose
  • Rely on disreputable blogs for information
  • Rely on marketing sources for medical information


Before posting a comment please review the following policies.


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.

MenoPause Blog

We strive to bring you the most recent and interesting information about various aspect of menopause and midlife health. We accept no advertising for our website. We want you to have accurate, unbiased, evidence-based information. 

JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, NCMP
Executive Director


Recent posts

Copyright© 2020 |  Home  |  Privacy Policy  |   Site Map |


30100 Chagrin Blvd, Suite 210 - Pepper Pike, OH 44124, USA
Telephone: 440/442-7550 - Fax: 440/442-2660  - Email: info@menopause.org
Email a Friend
Please enter a valid email address.
255 character limit
Your friend will receive an e-mail invitation to view this page, but we will not store or share this e-mail address with outside parties.

To submit the email please enter the sum of 6 + 6.