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Combat Internet Misinformation By Seeking Credible Sources
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The problem with the internet is that anyone can create a website or post an article on a subject matter and pass it off to the public as truth. The public, in turn, have a growing hunger for information given quickly and therefore tends to believe and promulgate the first information they encounter without reading into it more. Sometimes even reliable news websites get their facts wrong because of the urgency to post something and soon enough have to insert an editor’s note explaining and apologizing for the misinformation. This should alert people of the need to be more vigilant as to which internet websites to trust and rely on, especially for sensitive and crucial topics as health.
The dental profession is not spared from these questionable websites and online articles. For example, it is easy for anyone to write an article saying that a dental treatment is controversial and this may spread around the world causing alarm to the public, most of whom will not take the time to verify the credibility of the article’s author or if there are enough scientific studies to support such claim. Knowing that this possibility exists, the licensed members of the oral health care work force should in turn be vigilant in staying current with their dental education. Being aware of online trending topics on oral health and keeping an updated education allows a dental practitioner to guide patients and properly inform them when they have questions about recent oral health care issues encountered through the internet.
One of the best ways for a dental practitioner to combat online misinformation is to also go online and be informed. However, it should be through seeking out website sources with credible backgrounds or authors. This assures that articles presented have been written with enough and proper research or scientific study. Dental practitioners should note that most online dental courses are managed by dental professionals and teaching professionals with degrees that support their venture into education. It is practical for an individual to read on the background of authors from whom they wish to learn more, and these should be readily available on websites of credible online education providers. In addition, these websites that provide online dental courses should also have received accreditation or recognition from the proper authorities, and an individual should be able to read on these merits from the website itself.
Although the internet can be a confusing medium from where to get information, people should recognize that there are websites that hold much credibility in the information they promulgate. In the dental profession, dental students and dental practitioners will be able to find adequate websites providing online dental courses that allow one to be properly educated with current dental news, trends and issues. The important thing is to be responsible and wary in checking the credibility of the authors and the accreditation of the website. By doing so, one is assured that the knowledge gained is of sound quality, contributes well in maintaining a clinical practice and in dealing with patients that have been misinformed.
Karen McDonagh is a proud contributing author and write articles on several subjects including Dental Education. For more information please see Courses Available Online for Dentists .
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