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Medical Media Literacy: Home

The provided Lib Guide is designed to raise awareness about medical fact checking, especially about false medical advice in Messengers, by providing ordinary people with a basic introduction of the available fact checking resources on the Internet.

Fake is Faster than Fact


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Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018 reported a study stating fake news is faster than true news (Study: On Twitter, False News Travels Faster than True Stories, 2018). No matter what kind of news it is, the news with more falsehood diffuses into society quickly. The fake news would be less harmful if the society would just ‘laugh’ at it, however, it is potentially life-threatening if the fake news is from the medical field. In other words, practicing fake medical tips from messengers could cost a life.

Talking about a person's life, surgeon-general Dr. Vivek H. Murthy stated:

Health misinformation … can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts (VOA News, 2021)

The highlighted statement reveals the complications of health misinformation. Without a doubt, there are many important global and local problems, such as global warming, food waste, etc. Yet, some of them can be prevented and changed, including medical illiteracy. Every time you want to self-medicate yourself with a medication or to do medical procedure that you have heard about from Internet users, recall about the cases of unintentional harms and life-lasting regrets.


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Mary Mallon had unintentionally killed thousand lives due to her medical illiteracy. She infected her clients with food-borne salmonella typhi pathogen, and later was sentenced to end-to-life quarantine in an island. Even though she died happily not due to her capability to spread typhoid fever, she took many innocent lives.
This is a great memory to remember that we need to raise the medical literacy among ordinary people, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic ...

Getting Started: Why do We need Avoid?

Fake medical news may ...

  • harm your health!      
  • weaken a doctor-patient relationship!

  • weaken trust in Health Care Providers and Government!

Reasons for the spread of medical misinformation ...

  • audience does not verify the news!

  • easy access to re-share the news!

  • less editorial process!

Author's thought

Due to fake medical news, the healthcare industry is being bombarded with many hates. Especially, nursing practice ... For the past years, nurses in Kazakhstan have been disregarded due to falsified medical news in the digital platforms. Yet, some people may find nurses as compassionate and caring, they state we lack influence, credibility, and autonomy (Colet, 2021). As a nursing science student, I observed that it is hard to find active healthcare digital media users who are rebuilding the trust between patient and healthcare. Yet, we were able to find some ... who are managing to make a little change. Hence, Nurses, and other HCPs too, need a trust to involve in patients’ flow of healing. It is critical to understand the essence of trust in the healthcare industry and to refine the true image of nurses.


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Please, do not use this LibGuide for the purpose of self-diagnosis as it will provide you with the basic medical tools for medical-self-checking. This LibGuide is purely meant to educate and entertain, and does not replace the job of Healthcare Provider. Consult the qualified healthcare provider for any concerns if you find something suspicious in your physical or mental health.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this LibGuide you will be expected to know:

  • the tools for debunking the medical myths and fakes news.
  • the basic skills for building a medical media literacy in your community.


       Colet, P. (2021). Reimaging the image of nurses in future healthcare [Conference presentation]. The Heart Center's 10-Anniversary Conference: Looking Back, Thinking Forwards, National Cardiac Surgery Center, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

       NHS website. (2021, December 9). Overview - fabricated or induced illness. Nhs.Uk.

       Study: On twitter, false news travels faster than true stories. (2018, March 8). MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

       VOA News. (2021, July 15). US surgeon general issues advisory on COVID misinformation. VOA.

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