Discuss amongst yourselves. Here’s something else for you: Netflix occupies 25% of the total internet bandwidth; which says a lot for the content contained within the other 75%. And buried somewhere in the noise of so much scintillating pulsating internet noise, is a signal of medical information and disinformation. And for clarity, my young NYC podiatry patients, we turn to the laser focused lens of this hallowed blog.
No matter what Al Gore says, the internet is here to stay, and there is a lot of information out there – at least 1.21 gigabytes of information, perhaps a bit more. But seriously- the entire Library of Congress fits on 10 terabytes of storage space, which I believe is a very tiny fraction of the amount of data floating around in cyberspace. The phenomenon of patients learning about their suspected condition is no longer shocking, rather it’s a bit of a surprise when a patient hasn’t learned something about a condition online. And I have learned to welcome and encourage the informed patient, as it gives us a base from which to start a conversation. However, there is a lot of chatter out there on the internet. Like any other storehouse of information there are very reputable sources and there are sales gimmicks, fear mongers, and outright cuckoo nuts, so check your facts and be prepared for the proverbial grain of salt.
Without naming names, the websites connected to nationally recognized scientific organizations tend to be the most reliable, as well as the more widely recognized consumer medical sites. Media organizations also tend to disseminate knowledge that is based on sound scientific evidence. And that, my young friends, segues nicely into the litmus test of reliable information. Like any medical fact, it should be based on some level of scientific research – ideally controlled trials published in peer reviewed journals. Any scientific fact should be verifiable, reproducible, and falsifiable, in other words the research should be such that the results can be obtained by another group using the same methods, and it stands up to attempts to be disproven. Without getting too boring (too late?) any scientific fact published on the internet should ideally be subject to a similar level of scrutiny as that published in a scientific journal.
So my young eager minds, you’ve just had another episode of light and truth from the most reliable source on the World Wide Web, www.doctorisaacson.com. And if you’re circuits are overloading from surfing and browsing, close up the laptop, power down the iPad and come in for some reliable information and down home entertainment.
See you in the office.