The NY Times ran an article yesterday titled “You’re Sick. Now What? Knowledge is Power“. One of the phsycians states
The goal is to find an M.D., not become one.
I am not so sure – I think the goal is too become better informed so you can be a better partner with your physician. The article is right about balance and everyone must determine their information personality. If you like lots of information you can find it, if you don’t it is easy to get overwhelmed. No matter your desires there are many sources and not just limited to Google and the world wide web (although in todays digital age these are the easy choices).
Gather the information, try to distill it and then use it to educate yourself and bring the information with you when you consult your doctor, being careful not to overwhelm him the process with hundred’s of pages of print out that would be impossible for anyone to process in a time limited consultation.
If you are lucky your doctor will have the time to help you process the information and will use it to help guide your care. But even if they don’t being more informed is always better than being uninformed.