Trust us, we’re doctors

It's a medical term.

Before the internet, when a loved one was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, most people only felt capable of offering support by hand-holding and “being there” for the person. Maybe they would encourage their friend or family member to get a second opinion.

Things have changed so much. Now, you can take that diagnosis and Google it. You can see what people are saying about their experience with the same illness on their CarePages blogs. You can even go to my favorite medical information location, The Mayo Clinic, where you can get all the information you ever wanted to know and then some. Doctors now need to be prepared for self-reliant, educated patients who arrive at their next appointment, not despondent and uninformed, but armed to the teeth with mountains of information and a long list of questions. They have read the literature, and they know their odds.

Then, they look at what the hospital is publishing–and by publishing we mean websites, brochures–all manner of patient information literature, which should be comforting and reassuring. Today’s example is neither.

Along with the obvious lack of certain essential punctuation and articles, my head-shake moment comes when I reach the phrase “coup with their disease.” If it were only a clever play on words, designed to give the patient the feeling of power they need to overcome their illness. Unfortunately, it’s one more example of reliance on spellcheck. If only our word processing programs were as smart as Google! How wonderful it would be to see a dialog box pop up that says, “Did you mean cope?”

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2 Comments

Filed under proofreading, spellchecker

2 responses to “Trust us, we’re doctors

  1. Amy Armbruster

    “They have read the literature, and they know they odds.”

    Do you mean “the odds,” or “their odds?”

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