March 1, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 5)
Strong Points: Good medical info
Weak Points: Not a substitute for a doctor
Looking for “best practices” for medical treatment? If so, you may want to check out BMJ BestTreatments where they tell you “which treatments really work and which don’t work, based on the best and most up-to-date medical research.” If you talk to physicians, they’ll say that the Web is radically transforming how they treat patients. First, there is a tremendous amount of info available, but perhaps more importantly, patients are accessing this data too and are often coming into doctor’s offices with an understanding of what might be wrong. This is good and bad. On the downside, it can get in the way of the physician’s diagnoses when patients insist they know what is wrong with them. On the positive side, though, that availability of the knowledge provides patients the potential to better understand their diagnosis and treatment. Whether they do or not, is not certain. BMJ Best Treatments is therefore a site that, when used properly, will do great things, but when in the wrong hands may do more harm than good.