Local or online doctor?
In most medical & health situations (especially emergencies), using a local doctor as opposed to an online service, is preferable unless your access to this type of care is limited. You should also be aware that a consultant on the other side of the world may have limited knowledge and experience of your local medical and health environment.
Health information on the web
There are now many sources of health information on the web but remember that anyone can place information on a website so you need to be aware of this when viewing such information. We recommend that you use the following checks to safeguard, as much as possible, against unreliable and unqualified advice:
- Who has written the information, what are their qualifications and whom do they represent?
- Who owns and sponsors the site?
- How good are their sources or is it a personal opinion? Always look for references to clinical trials supporting any statements and, where possible, go to the original source.
- When was the site last updated?
(If you suspect that some health information is dubious, you might try consulting www.quackwatch.org )