Doctors Share Their Funniest 'I Googled My Symptoms' Patient Experiences

Doctors Share Their Funniest 'I Googled My Symptoms' Patient Experiences
Bruno/Germany from Pixabay

Listen to your doctors.

More specifically, listen to doctors you can trust who aren't out to "find the truth" or "reveal the hidden secrets of your very specific disease and the cure behind it."
Just because you read something online doesn't make it true.
That's rule #1 of the internet.
Be skeptical of things, yes. Do your own research, sure.
But when a licensed medical professional is telling you to stop drinking your own urine, then maybe listen to them?

Reddit user squishy0930 wanted to hear which patients think they knew more when they asked:

"Doctors of Reddit, what was the dumbest 'I read on the internet...' moment you had with a patient?"


Why would drinking urine be the be-all health savior?

Because It's Sterile And She Likes The Taste?

"When I was a medical student I met a woman who was heavily interested in homeopathy and natural healing, who started drinking her own urine. You can often drink small amounts with no issue, but she was drinking only urine. Urine has a high salt concentration, and she ended up dehydrated with an acute kidney injury."


At Least They're Honest?

"Not a doctor, but work at a doctors office. One of our patients said "I do my own research. I know more than the doctor!"


Garlic Infused...Nevermind.

"Not a doc (nurse) but my doctor friend who works in the ER had a patient with a few garlic cloves stuck deep in her vagina because she had read on the internet it helps with certain infections and yeast. (I realize garlic does have antibacterial properties but needs to be used appropriately and with caution)"


Can You Hear This? Why Are You Wasting My Time?

"Recently. 5 year old boy brought in by mum with a sore ear. Diagnosed with an ear (otitis media) infection, given backpocket antibiotics to start if getting worse or ongoing in another 36 hours (as they often go away on their own)."

"Mum declined, is going to take the kid to a naturopath for treatment instead."

"Unlikely to have a poor outcome (but still possible), but why the f-ck did you come and see me?"


Topical Misunderstanding

"As a general surgery resident on the colorectal surgery service, we do a lot of hemorrhoids, anal fissures, etc. One of my colleagues prescribed a cream for a middle-aged woman and she later called back and asked if the cream would still work while she was on vacation in Hawaii. Uh, yes it will, why? She replied, 'Bc I was told to apply it locally.'”

– TypeADissection

Misunderstanding medical facts are more widespread thanks to the equally quick widespread media we all consume. Odds are the information in a movie or television show is stretched past truth to make the story more interesting.


"I regularly have to explain to junior detectives and families that an autopsy does not function as it does on CSI and I can't just speculate wildly about the sex, height, hand dominance and motive of a murderer except in very specific instances."

"But I don't blame them, I blame f-cking CSI."


Lack Of Trust Right Up Until Death

"My father saw a patient who was convinced that hospitals were a sham. She had cancer. She winds up on chemo for a bit but very quickly tells my father she isn't going to be taking her medication anymore because "she knows when she's being scammed" and the side effects of her medication were "proof". Apparently, the chemo my father was prescribing was a ploy by Big Pharma. Apparently, that was what was actually causing the "cancer" in the first place."

"Well, she decides to go off her medication for a bit and starts feeling better as no chemo = no side effects from chemo. She takes this as further proof that hospitals are a sham and starts blogging about it. Posting online about how she's living proof that hospitals are fraudulent and telling people to stop buying Big Pharma's lies."

"She was then sent back to my father, via ambulance, sometime later. The test results were back and, surprise surprise, stage four cancer. She died in the hospital later that week."


We Push Medicine Because Otherwise People Die

"You'd be amazed at how many people tell me (type 1 diabetic) that I could could get out from big pharma and my dependency on insulin if I just eat right..."

"I'm skinny and otherwise healthy. Type 1 is an immunodeficiency that must always take insulin due to the pancreas no longer creating any on its own..."

"These conversations are often met with a blank stare by me."


"One of my senior collegues explained to the press that of course he was a shill for big pharma. All his 500 patients with T1 would be dead in a week if big pharma stopped delivering."


The Faith Healer

"I had a friend about 10 years ago go to a 'faith healer' for wrist pain from drumming and asked me to go with him. It was the dumbest shit I have ever seen. He paid her £200 to literally just wave her hands over his wrist for 20 minutes while some pan-pipe music played."

"Funnily enough, it didn't cure his carpal tunnel syndrome. Who would have thought??"

"It did make me wonder whether I'm missing out on an easy scam if people are THAT gullible, though XD"

– kutuup1989

Confession From A Diabetic

"You'd be amazed at how many people tell me (type 1 diabetic) that I could could get out from big pharma and my dependency on insulin if I just eat right..."

"I'm skinny and otherwise healthy. Type 1 is autoimmune disorder that must always take insulin due to the pancreas no longer creating any on its own..."

"These conversations are often met with a blank stare by me."

– BearXW

The Transplant Recipient

"Not a doctor. As a transplant recipient, I have to take immunosuppressant medication for the rest of my life. There are studies that some people do come off them completely, but it’s such a huge risk to take that it may trigger organ rejection."

"A family member of mine still can’t grasp how a life saving surgery provided by western medicine which initially saved my life, is still keeping me back from living my life. He suggested that I get off my immune suppressants because I am a cash cow for big pharma."

– mango_invasion

Germs To The Rescue

"Had a patient come in with horrid cellulitis bc they thought they read that putting dirt in a cut would help stimulate their immune system. It did for all the wrong reasons."

– CaptainSpalding232

And then there's all issues related COVID because of course COVID is still a thing. We're still in a pandemic. Listen to your doctor, but not the kinds of internet doctors that tell you to not trust other doctors. Otherwise you'll end like this.

*facepalm forever*

"Respiratory therapist here. Mostly I have enjoyed reading the public comments on articles relating to COVID. Highlights have included:"

"The ventilators are killing people! If people can breath on their own, they do better on high flow oxygen" Right. Believe it or not, we don't intubate people because it's a slow Tuesday, it's because (in the case of COVID) their oxygen demands have exceeded other mean of delivery (BiPAP, usually)"

"COVID isn't a lung issue! It's a gas exchange issue!" Sure. And where does the primary source of gas exchange occur? Yep. That's the lungs."

"Also had a patient that didn't believe he had COVID. Even went so far as to ask if the q-tip we used for the test came from the bottom of the box where it could be contaminated by actual COVID positive tests, since he heard that can happen. (All our lab tests are individually packaged of course)"

"We had an older (60s) couple that ended up with COVID, and we had them together in the same room. Most of us thought the man was going to die, as he was pretty bad. Their daughter was there almost around the clock. Many of us had long conversations with her about various treatments and expectations. Even she had mentioned it was just so different living thru it than what she had been expecting thru social media."

"When they had first came in, we had them in separate, smaller rooms since that's what we had available. After a week or so, one opened up where we could put them together. The daughter asked me point blank "So, are these rooms opening up because the people in them died?" I was honest. "Yes. That exactly what's happening". She just nodded her head. I don't think she was expecting that answer."


You Knew This One Was Coming

"So much COVID disinformation!"

"I enjoy teaching my patients about their health. It took me countless hours of studying in medical school and many more hours than that in residency to figure out how the body works, so I'm not usually surprised if patients are confused about things."

"However, since the start of the pandemic, I've actually had to keep current on the latest disinformation just so I know where these questions are actually coming from."

"I had a guy a few weeks ago come in with a Post-It Note with the word "Ivermectin" written on it."

"I felt like I knew where this conversation was going, but I asked: "Why do you want a prescription for ivermectin?"

"Just to have it…"

"Is this some treatment for COVID?"

"Yeah, I read online from some doctors (WHO???) that it can boost the immune system and treat COVID."

"Sir, ivermectin is a treatment for intestinal parasites. It does nothing against a virus like the coronavirus. Further, I actually treated people in the hospital with COVID and rounded in our ICU and none of us have ever prescribed ivermectin to treat seriously ill COVID patients."

"But I read online from these guys—and they're doctors—who said it works…"

"After five minutes of back and forth like this, you just need to stop, cut them off and tell them you're not prescribing their medication and move on. There's 20 other patients on the schedule today and I can't fight this battle right now. Good luck, man."


Listen to your doctors.

Seriously. This pandemic will be over a lost faster if we all just keep listening to trustworthy medical professionals.

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