As medicine moves towards a patient-centered care model, clinicians are encouraged to discuss information brought to them by patients and explain the value of evidence-based medical knowledge.6 Emphasizing communication to discuss Internet information and resources can help clinicians in greater understanding of patient emotions, concerns, and decision-making processes for treatment and care.7

Jack Chou, MD, a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ board of directors, told Medical Economics, “I am not afraid of Dr. Google because Google can never come close to a family physician…I see Google as a tool. It’s not to supplant what we do as physicians.”7 “Dr. Google” is not likely to vanish from patient care in the near future, but it can actually be a powerful tool for clinicians in engaging patients in their own care and therapy.

References

  1. A remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/health-info-knowledge-graph.html. Published February 10, 2015. Accessed June 23, 2015.
  2. Teens, health, and technology: a national survey. The Center on Media and Human Development, School of Communication, Northwestern University. June 2015. Accessed June 23, 2015.
  3. The diagnosis difference. The Pew Research Center. http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/11/26/the-diagnosis-difference-2/. November 26, 2013. Accessed June 23, 2015.
  4. Are hypertension YouTube videos, apps accurate? eMPR.com. http://www.empr.com/medical-news/are-hypertension-youtube-videos-apps-accurate/article/347311/. May 16, 2014. Accessed June 23, 2015.
  5. Garg N, Venkatraman A, Pandey A, Kumar N. YouTube as a source of information on dialysis: a content analysis. Nephrology 2015; 20(5): 315-20. doi: 10.1111/nep.12397.
  6. Hesse, BW. The patient, the physician, and Dr. Google. Virtual Mentor 2012; 14(5): 398-402.
  7. Kreimer, S. Dealing with Dr. Google: why communication is key. Med Econ.. April 17, 2015. Accessed June 23, 2015.