Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Google Health Advisory Panel

There's been quite a bit of hullabaloo over the composition of the new Google Health Advisory Panel. Assorted people have pointed out, with varying degrees of indignation, the absence of nurses, medical librarians and radiologists on the panel.

Who cares!

The whole thing is complete and utter bullshit.

When searching for an all-night pharmacy for a patient brings up a sidebar full of ads to buy Vicodin, Viagra and all sorts of other substances WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION [emphasis theirs, of course] who the hell does Google think they're fooling? You can also locate an acupuncturist, a chiropractor and a Reiki practitioner near you 24/7. You could probably find a hit man without too much difficulty as well.

Although it may not be illegal to advertise something illegal (but it should be) Google is still a joke -- and not a very funny one -- when it comes to health promotion.


At Sat Jul 21, 04:01:00 PM, Blogger FineArtPainting said...

Dear Solo-Medical Professional Who is Enlightened Enough to have a Blog:

It is not GOOGLE who is a joke. Rather, the medical profession is yet to embrace the Internet and overall the current 'connecting' culture.

Western healthcare has to shift in attitude and behavior. As a child I just rolled up at the doctor’s and waited in his waiting room till it was our turn. Reason: the phone was not 'invented' as a normal everyday tool and so making appointments was ‘not done’.

The Internet as a ‘business too’ has only been available for less than 15 years, and as a ‘good business tool’ for even less than that. Medical professionals like you are leading the pack. Your presence online helps your profession to seriously use the Internet as a tool to further their practice, and to communicate with clients, (alternative) health care professionals and the community at large.

I congratulate you.

The Internet is a serious business tool for me and 80-95% of my clients come through the web. The rest is referred from happy clients. I don't do any paid advertise online, rather I offer extensive information on what I do for a living. This requires a serious web commitment on my part, away from seeing clients directly. I value my hours spent online as an investment enabling me to help many more clients. There is a good chunk of community service in this also, and that’s fine with me.

However, I know that my internet client sourcing % is unusually high. First, not every Reiki Master also has an MBA and a computer degree. Second, for anyone to be online professionally, new learning and an attitude shift is required. And I agree with you that it's about time that high-quality medical providers feature amongst top ranking in Google results... I'm waiting for doctors to get the 'connectivity'-drift!

Astrid Lee
Distance Reiki for your Wellness
World Healing

At Sat Jul 21, 09:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google's mission is to make all information accessible and useful. Health information is neither, even for physicians. Google has pledged to do for health care, say, what they do for finance, maps, video, etc. Sounds like you're faulting Google for not having done what you say they have no business doing. Google Health's gonna save lives. - Jason Cafer MD

At Sat Jul 21, 09:47:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

Jason: Google is amoral. Legal, illegal, medical, junk science -- anything for a buck. I'm sure they think the whole "Advisory Council" thing will lend them legitimacy, which they hope will enhance revenue.

Astrid: As it happens, I even have an office website, but the internet is totally peripheral to my business. That's because I provide actual medical care to people. In the flesh. You know, talking to them, looking at them, touching them...that sort of thing. There are still some things you *can't* do over the internet.

Queen: Check out Astrid's site to answer your questions.

At Sat Jul 21, 10:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Queen of Dysfunction:

Reiki is like laying on hands, except without the therapeutic success.

All that the so-called "traditional" Chinese, Japanese, and oher -ese "healing" methodologies have ever done, is bury people at the age of 35. These days, the NIH wastes millions on studying rubbish like this, and guess what? If you have cancer, you _still_ better find an oncologist.

I do not care whether Reiki swindlers use the Internet as a "good business tool". It's still a sham, no matter whether the adverts are on a screen, or whether the snake-oil seller shouts from atop his Conestoga wagon.


At Sun Jul 22, 07:54:00 AM, Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Sun Jul 22, 08:00:00 AM, Blogger Le Canard Noir said...

Astrid above is a classic example of how Google fails even to implement its own adwords policy. The terms clearly state "No miracle cures". I cannot see how reiki falls into any other category than miracle with its mumbo-jumbo explanations of 'channeling energy' etc.

Previously, blogged about it here and intend to follow up with some more...

At Sun Jul 22, 05:33:00 PM, Blogger CrankyProf said...

You know, I'm thinking I ought to market some form of psychotherapy.

For a set (ridiculously high) fee, I'll "lay hands" on you, until you're over your delusions. Heck, for extra $$, I'll lay my hobnailed BOOTS upon you until you're over whatever ails you.

Quackery just ticks me off - but there is a fool born every minute, and two to take him.


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