Following on from my dreadful experience with the Spanish endocrinologist I am now preparing to see a British endocrinologist at the local Nuffield Hospital near my parents house. Naturally this preparation involves going online, checking with UK patient associations such as the British Thyroid Association and the British Thyroid Foundation. The choice of associations, support groups and information in huge.
On the one hand as a patient it is great to have access to such a wide array of support and information. However the negative side of this is which information to look at? I have limited time so which association or support group offers the best, most relevant information? It appears that if I were a newly diagnosed patient there is tons of useful information – however as a patient looking for ongoing support and advice, for example recommendations on thyroid tracking apps, I need to dig deeper.
This is of course a common problem for patients who are often faced with an overwhelming amount of information online, from a huge variety of sources. How does a patient know which resource or app is the most appropriate and has the best information? Unfortunately very often I find asking my physician for help in this area does not help as they rarely seem to know themselves.
Patients will increasingly need help in this area, especially as the amount of information online will only increase. Physicians will need to start having answers, at least to some of the common diseases such as diabetes and depression. I will of course be asking my endocrinologist this afternoon if he can recommend a thyroid tracking app … but I have low expectations, especially as he does not appear to have an email address (for “security reasons – but that’s worth another post in itself!).