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‘Google’ is now officially a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary—considered the most authoritative dictionary of the English language. With all of this technology and freely available digital information, Google is changing the way doctors practise medicine and how doctors consult patients. For all the benefits technology provides, it does provoke anxiety. In a recent letter, a rheumatologist describes a scene at rounds where a professor asked the presenting fellow to explain how he arrived at his diagnosis. ‘I entered the salient features into Google, and [the diagnosis] popped right up’.1
The phrase ‘Please do not confuse your Google search for my medical degree’ printed on a mug has been making the rounds on multiple social media forums and internet sites in recent times. This reflects the emerging use of the World Wide Web by patients to obtain information (and misinformation) and how the internet impacts the practising of modern medicine. Most clinicians will be familiar with the increasingly …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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