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Patients, Thankfully, Still Trust Doctors More Than the Web

The Internet has put a wealth of health and medical information at our fingertips. Of course, the danger is that users will begin to turn to the Web for a diagnosis instead of to their physicians. But a recent study shows that all the digital noise is leading people to trust their doctors more than ever.

A survey conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute reveals that, while patients may turn to the Internet to educate themselves, they still want doctors to help them cut through the sea of information. In addition to increasing trust and allowing people to gather preliminary research, the Web has also changed the dynamic of the patient-doctor relationship. The survey found that many people communicate directly with physicians via e-mail.

Susannah Fox, an associate director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, told U.S. News and World Report that, while people are turning to the Internet to address minor health questions, for "the big decisions... people are still relying on health professionals."

We think it's a given that a little bit of googling could never replace a trained professional, and it's comforting to see that the general public agrees. [From: U.S. News and World Report, Via: Pew Internet & American Life Project]

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