The Efficient MD’s eyes are opened by the nasty thoughts Google Suggest offers up when someone starts typing “Doctors are…” Since Google Suggest lists only common results with which to complete your queries, it seems that the most common thing people think about doctors online is that we’re “overpaid” or “jerks” or “dangerous” or, most commonly, “sadists who like to play god.”
Surveys show people consider doctors to be among the most respected professions. So what gives?
Well, I’ve been paying attention to what Google can tell us about ourselves (the first Google Talk was a lot less useful, but arguably more interesting) for some time. But even before I knew Google Suggest was a weird and limited tool, I knew this:
Declarative sentences are the only kind of sentence that can be proven or disproven. Yet the people who use them most — and favor the short, simple variety of declarations –are often those least interested in arriving at truth.
That’s my guess why those “Doctors are…” statements seem so unfriendly to doctors.
You can find more head-scratching or downright funny Google Suggest screenshots here… It seems that questions from school assignments often find their way into Google Suggest. Finally, here’s an analysis suggesting the way the start of a question is phrased implies a certain sophistication of query.
*This blog post was originally published at Blogborygmi*