Every day, we go to the Internet, television, radio, newspapers and magazines for medical information. But how do we know if what we are reading, hearing and seeing is current, accurate and credible?
Cindee J. Ivker, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with Westchester Health Pediatrics, offers the following important guidelines in her recent blog for determining the accuracy and veracity of medical information.
- Is the information from a respected health organization like the American Academy of Pediatrics, or a reputable government agency, hospital, business, research institution or university?
- Is the information reviewed by an editorial board? When “experts” in the field are named, you can then Google them for their background.
- Is the magazine, television report or website referencing information that is up-to-date or from years back? While older information may be the foundation for current information, it is essential for you to know whether it’s old but relevant, old and no longer accurate, or current and reliable.
- Who is the author? Was the piece written by a healthcare professional? If the authorship isn’t clear, find out who wrote it.
- Is the information factual or the writer’s opinion?
- If the information is on the Internet, look on the website’s home page for an “About us” link or “About this site.” This should take you to a page that explains which person, official or organization is responsible for the information.
In all circumstances, consult your doctor
You should always contact your healthcare provider to help you understand the information you have read or heard. He/she can guide you in making healthy, educated choices and truly wants to be included in your health decision-making process.
For accurate, reliable medical information, Dr. Ivker recommends these websites:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics
- The American Academy of Family Practice
- The Centers for Disease Control
- State and Local Department of Health
- The National Institutes for Health
For more information, advice and tips, come in and see us
If you’re concerned about any aspect of your healthcare, please call (914) 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health physicians to come in and talk about it. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
To read Dr. Ivker’s blog in full, click here.