Why mothers are spurning their GPs to get medical advice from Google

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Mothers are more likely to turn to “Dr Google” than their family doctor for advice if their child is poorly, a poll suggests.

A new survey found that GPs are third on the list of sources of advice for mothers, behind seeking help from their own mothers and going online.

The poll, conducted by law firm Irwin Mitchell on 2,000 mothers from across the UK, found that one in five would go to their GP as their first port of call if their child was ill.

Some 29 per cent said they would first ask their own mother for advice and 26 per cent said they would rely on the internet for information.

Not wanting to bother their family doctor unnecessarily was the most common reason for mothers turning to other places for advice, with 58 per cent saying this was their reason for seeking help elsewhere.

But one in 10 said they feel like their doctor does not really listen to them and another 14 per cent said they feared they would be “fobbed off”. Almost three in five said that past experience with a doctor has made them feel like a “paranoid mother”.

The poll also found that two in five mothers had questioned a doctor’s diagnosis of their child because it differed from what an internet search had suggested.

Lisa Jordan, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, which commissioned the survey, said: “The problem with advice over the internet is that it can be difficult to verify how appropriate or accurate the diagnosis is.”