Monday, January 12, 2009

Doctors’ Favorite Medical Web Sites

Health writers often suggest Web sites and strategies for finding the best doctor. But what do doctors think about all this advice?
In today’s “Doctor and Patient” column, Dr. Pauline W. Chen talks to other doctors about the best way to find a doctor you trust, and the best places to research health information.
Many of the doctors I spoke to or exchanged e-mail with made commonsense suggestions that were not unexpected. They urged patients to find out which doctors their closest friends really like, to ask a prospective doctor questions like how much experience he or she has with a specific condition or operation, and to make sure that as a patient you feel part of a shared decision-making process and comfortable saying how you feel, or that you don’t understand or that you respectfully disagree.
But many of the physicians also shared links to valuable Web sites, several of which I was unfamiliar with. All the sites are free to the public and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. When I looked at these sites while writing this column, I became really excited as a patient about the amount of information available.
For a complete lists of the various Web sites suggested by doctors, click here to read Dr. Chen’s full column, “In Search of a Good Doctor.” And then join the discussion below.

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