A (not very intelligent) GP in the US admitted in an article to Googling his patients’ details:
“Doctors do “Google” their patients”, writes Dr Warraich.
“In fact, the vast majority of physicians I know have done so. To my generation, using a search engine like Google comes as naturally as sharing pictures of our children or a recent vacation on a social networking site like Facebook. But it surprises me that more physicians don’t pause and think about what it means for the patient-doctor relationship.”
Searching for information about patients online is ethical as long as the doctor is seeking information that helps treatment, Dr Warraich believes.”
So, I hear you ask – ‘Is my Vet Googling me too?’ The answer is, almost certainly not. First of all, who’s got the time? Most Vet I know (myself included) are busy off their feet with no time to spare. If I had spare time, I could think of many better things to do with it.
Secondly, the kind of information available on the Web is absolutely useless for us Vets. Knowing that your favorite color is Purple and you like Jane Austen’s novels doesn’t help me cure your dog’s diarrhea. At any rate, I am much more interested in your pet then I am in you. That’s why I remember my patients’ names much better then their owners’ surnames.
The other day a famous football player walked in to get his dog’s anal glands squeezed and I was so busy talking about vaccinations I didn’t even recognize him until he left the building. And No, I am not telling you who he is – it’s called patient confidentiality. But his dog does need to have a bath. Just don’t tell anyone I told you that.