When the doctor told Stuart Matchett he had a rare cancer he did not hear much else afterwards.
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“You’re completely overwhelmed,” he said.
“You think you’ve got a hundred questions to ask but can only think of one of them. When you walk out you can’t remember a thing the doctor said to you.”
A question asked at the 2009 ACEM Winter Symposium following our presentation on ‘The Web 2.0 Rollercoaster’ was: How can emergency physicians deal with information overload?
Fear of information overload is a barrier preventing doctors from using web resources. But, given that humanity has been experiencing information overload since the invention of the Gutenberg press, ignoring web resources to avoid confronting this daunting problem is a maladaptive, self-defeating strategy. Here are some ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ pointers to help ‘Web 2.0 laggards’ pull their heads out of the ground and off-load the stress of information overload.