It is an ailment doctors complain about regularly these days. Too well-informed patients visit doctor’s offices with their mind made up: they are sure to have brain cancer. They Googled it and have every symptom the WikiPedia page lists.
“Doctor, please amputate my head!”
Doctors have an increasingly hard time convincing these ill informed patients that there is nothing wrong with their heads. Now Mr. Horvitz at Microsoft Research has done extensive research that confirms this ailment.
“the Microsoft study is the first systematic look at the anxieties of people doing searches related to health care, Eric Horvitz said. “People tend to look at just the first couple results, if they find ‘brain tumor’ or ‘A.L.S.,’ that’s their launching point.”
So, next time you come complaining about that deadly rash you read about on your iPhone your doctor will most likely diagnose you as a cyberchondriac.
More details at the NYTimes.com