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How to Handle Patients who Consult ‘Dr. Google’

Dr. Google Patients

It is common for patients to read up on symptoms they may be experiencing on the internet then come up with a diagnosis before consulting you. Perhaps you have come across such patients. Technology has made access of a lot of medical information to be easy. With the use of a mobile gadget, one can access voluminous medical information anytime, anywhere.

It is frustrating to engage in a debate with a patient who subscribes to ‘Dr. Google’. But there is a better option to debating with patients about information found on the internet. Here is how.

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Work as a team

Instead of discouraging the patient from googling their symptoms, consider to actively participate in guiding them when it comes to seeking medical or health information.

They are not up to challenge your authority

Most of the time, when patients turn to ‘Dr. Google’, they are most likely seeking information. Their motive is not necessarily to challenge your authority, knowledge or experience.

You may consider joining the conversation in the interent so that they can come in contact with proper information when they go out searching.

Direct them to proper information

Recommend a website that you have already viewed and know it will be useful for them. This is called an internet prescription.

Internet prescription is simply a list of websites given to patients for further reading after a consult. A good source should include the author, name, qualifications, dates, and if there are any conflicts of interest.


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