The online world is full of misinformation.
In the age before the internet, the only source of people's medical understandings came from visits to medical professionals and word of mouth.
Nowadays, with social media, every second anonymous user is a keyboard warrior with a certified medical degree. The internet's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness: everyone is presented as equal on this platform. It's hard to differentiate misinformation from valid pieces of advice and the truth.
It's so important that medical professionals are contributing to the internet because that's where so many of us get our information from. As doctors, we are in an incredibly privileged position to have been taught so much in medical school, and to have first-hand experience in environments like hospitals to see what it's really like working during the pandemic. Especially during times like these when it might not necessarily be clear what's going on, we have - in the loosest sense - a lot of 'power' when it comes to information validity.
But with power comes great responsibility. There's a lot of wrong information out there, a lot of false facts that are leading people to believe the wrong thing. People think that 'Covid is a hoax' and that 'hospitals are empty'. We know better because we've seen sickness and death. We've experienced hospitals at capacity.
Every Medical Professional should be speaking out. Not just about their experiences and emotions, but about things like inequalities. Only by respecting the power of social media and removing stigmatisation of its use in the modern medical world do we stand a chance of combating this misinformation.
People NEED to know what's going on. They DESERVE it. And if I can help even just one or two people along the way find that truth, then I'll have done my duty.
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