Dr Google vs Vets


The goal is to obtain an understanding of how pet owners tendency to self-diagnose their pets has had an impact on veterinarians.

Early Findings

  • American Veterinarian published an article called "Is Dr. Google Coming Between You and Your Clients?" based of a study of UK veterinarians.
  • This research found that "Ninety-four veterinarians “prescribed” websites to clients, with widely varying frequency and approaches. Overall, about 30% of these veterinarians provided information prescriptions less than once a month, while 15% did so daily. About 20% wrote down website information and 2% went beyond this to pull up the prescribed website during the appointment."
  • Additionally, 55% of the veterinarians surveyed felt that the ability to self-diagnose negatively impacted the vet-client relationship.
  • The resource LifeLearn Animal Health published information on how veterinarians can take back control of the information being disseminated to their patients about their animals.

Negative Impact of the Internet

  • An article from Milwaukee on the 19th of this month stated that a local veterinarian practice is suing Google reviewers for a "malicious attack" on their reputation. The business claims the attack was coordinated and the accusations were false.

Alternatives for Patients

  • AskMyVet is an alternative to Google where users can look up pet related health information.
  • PetMD touts itself as vet authored and approved and offers a symptom checker for dogs and cats.

Proposed next steps:

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