Take precautions before consulting 'Dr Google'

Self-diagnosis can backfire, and people should learn to distinguish true search results from sponsored links; be suspicious when a site recommends a specific drug

Everyone occasionally experiences new symptoms that can't be readily explained or ignored. In most cases, people seek initial medical guidance from the one source they consider authoritative, available, trustworthy and non-judgmental.

We are, of course, talking about Google - which, for many adults, has become a de facto primary care doctor.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 03, 2019, with the headline 'Take precautions before consulting 'Dr Google''. Print Edition | Subscribe