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Cyberchondria - repeated, compulsive internet searches for medical info that can lead to worry and panic - is a real and troubling phenomenon.
Misguided Google searches can also be a deep source of frustration for doctors and other health care providers who say they spend a good chunk of their time with patients tackling inaccurate health advice and self-diagnosis.
How to make sure you are using "Dr Google" effectively? Here are five best practices to keep in mind.
Start your search with well-known, reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Many hospitals and universities also have websites with evidence-based health information.
Save any studies or articles you visit, and bring a list of links to the doctor with you so you can discuss them together when you go to see your doctor.
Your health care provider should be open to talking to you about any research you bring up.
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