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.


  1. A remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph. 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. November 26, 2013. Accessed June 23, 2015.
  4. Are hypertension YouTube videos, apps accurate? 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.