Dr. Google: The Good, The Bad, & The Truth

Fertility Acupuncture at Mirvana Acupuncture
February 25, 2020
Acupuncture for Back Pain in Houston
February 25, 2020

Often times patients come in after conducting research about their health matters. Though it is a great way to open a conversation with your doctor, we also recognize that there is a lot of misleading information on the internet. Sometimes instead of alleviating fears, your research creates more stress. I have to admit; I use Google when I’m trying to find a recipe or restaurant. But when it comes to my health, I seek advice from the experts. Those healthcare practitioners who have done extensive schooling and research, and more importantly who know me and are addressing me.

In my office, I embrace patients with a high-five when they have conducted some valuable research. I am a student of life and will continue to be a student. I love learning new research!

Differentiating “good” from “bad” research has become more difficult with blogs, forums, and reviews, which are not evidence-based. I tell patients, it is so important we look at medical research for their health matters, herbal and vitamin supplements, and nutritional therapy. When patients bring in a listing of herbs they are on and tell me they are taking them because they heard the supplements were good, I help to make sense as to why one would need the herbs. Give the herb a deadline. For instance, if a patient is taking gingko biloba for months or years, I ask “is it working for you?”. Most patients reply with “I don’t know, I just take it”. Shouldn’t you take a supplement and see or feel a difference? I propose to patients to take the supplement for three months (depending on the herb) and then go off of it for a month. This will allow you to reflect and see if there are any notable health changes. I recommend patients to do the same with acupuncture. If you are not certain if you are seeing changes in your health after receiving acupuncture treatments, take a break from it. You will be able to compare your health changes better.

Google reviews for doctors and medical practices are a tough topic. As a doctor, we take an oath when we receive our degree to always to do what would be in the best interest of patients’ health. What happens when the doctor is honest with the patient and the patient doesn’t appreciate their honesty? This recently happened to me. I told a patient I was concerned about her taking several herbs at the same time and having herb/herb interactions. She didn’t appreciate this even after explaining to her the risks of taking many herbs, which she found off of fertility forums and blogs. After this, she said I was rude for not taking her “blog research” into consideration. Most healthcare practitioners will lean on medical research, CDC, FDA, and scientific herbal references in order to provide patients with the most current research, not blogs and forums. Practitioners are placed in a difficult position: do we tell patients what they want to hear, or do we abide by the oath we took and advise patients to do no harm?

Prior to selecting your healthcare practitioner, you should definitely read reviews. However, I urge people to be mindful to those who post negative reviews because they didn’t like what the doctor told them….the truth.

Mirvana Acupuncture brings eastern harmony into the modern society. Our philosophy is to meet our patient’s needs through the delivery of the most effective forms of Oriental medicine. We believe to maximize our patient’s treatment options; it is important to provide a peaceful setting that encourages a good patient/provider relationship.

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

Please call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 281-491-0110