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Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.

Hi Everyone

(13 Posts)
AwkwardPingu Thu 09-May-13 00:32:35

So I am new here. I have spent the last couple of hours reading and looking through threads.

I have one main concern. Who are the people who give advice? Are they trained healthcare professionals? or is it all a bit more experience based?

Some of the things I've read here have been a bit confusing regarding medical advice and I am concerned people are not receiving the correct input. Whilst I think the idea is fantastic, a fast and convenient place to gain advice and everyone's heart is in the right place, the potential for misinformation is enormous.

Half of the patients I speak to do not understand why they've had certain tests or what the results mean. This is due to the shortfall of doctors combined with time restraints and not patients most of the time. But here a person will read something vaguely related to what they have experienced and give their two-cents even though their understanding was not fundamentally sound.

Every patient is unique. Every scenario different. What fits for one does not necessarily fit for all.

At the end of the day, patient care and safety is my number one priority.

I am only a final year medical student though so what do I know...

exexpat Thu 09-May-13 00:50:53

Have you read the disclaimer at the top of every thread in health topics? Obviously not everyone who replies on health threads is a medical professional: some are, some are not but have relevant personal experience; some are not, but post advice which can sometimes be good (eg call NHS direct/go to A&E/ask a pharmacist), sometimes not so good.

I think there is on balance enough good advice and support to make the health threads worthwhile. There have been times when MN may even have saved lives, eg a while back someone posted about abdominal pains, and various other things she said led a couple of posters to suspect she had an ectopic pregnancy which was about to rupture. She (rather reluctantly) went to hospital, was fobbed off and sent home without proper examination, posted again, was urged to go back to hospital, and was indeed eventually diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy. It could have ended very differently for her if it had ruptured - she was at home alone with a young child.

exexpat Thu 09-May-13 00:53:24

Just to add - if you want to stop people getting misleading health advice from non-professionals, you would have to shut down the entire Internet...

exexpat Thu 09-May-13 01:13:11

This is the ectopic pregnancy thread I was talking about. It is very long, but please read it all.

It shows how the non-professionals on here got it right, but the medical professionals got it wrong for days, and could easily have cost a young woman her life. Professional arrogance can be very dangerous.

IndigoBarbie Fri 10-May-13 15:18:55

So, what difference does being a final year medical student mean? Have you experienced many of the health concerns posted here, on a personal level?

Sparklingbrook Fri 10-May-13 15:30:30

It's for the support that people post in General Health too. People with shared experiences of the same illness etc.

You would be stupid to think you can be diagnosed by a bunch of strangers on the internet but it's better than relying on Dr Google.

A lot of them are advised to see their GP and just need people to say 'Yes go!'.

Acandlelitshadow Fri 10-May-13 15:47:38

Taking internet advice about anything is a buyer beware scenario.

Just like taking claims people are - for instance- first year medical students at face value.

Acandlelitshadow Fri 10-May-13 15:48:29

Final. Not first.

justkeeponsmiling Fri 10-May-13 22:09:31

What kind of question is this anyway?

If you spent the past 2 hours reading the threads on here it should be quite obvious that the people giving advice on here are not trained professionals.
However, as a nurse with 10+ years experience I think you probably get more sensible advice on here than the advice you would get of most F1 (newly qualified) Doctors.

Sorry, just my own personal experience .

enjoyingscience Fri 10-May-13 22:14:44

OP, you are quite right. We should all stop talking immediately. It's not as if we are all adults with agency to take or leave advice as we please. oh.. wait...

BreastmilkCrucifiesAFabLatte Fri 10-May-13 23:22:58

Yes, what DO you know? I think you should ponder that question very carefully, because you obviously have no experience of actually being ill let alone of trying to parent whilst ill, nor of caring for a sick child. And you clearly haven't got the hang of the empathy or maturity they try and teach you at medical school. But I will stop insulting you now, because it's bed time really. I suggest you cuddle up with some of the cancer support threads, and ask yourself what might help you to understand how this board is helping those women. If you were to rephrase your post a little less arrogantly, some of them might be willing to help you understand..

AwkwardPingu Sat 11-May-13 11:11:10

xigris Sat 11-May-13 11:14:43

Justkeep gringrin HELL yes!!

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