Commentary |

Web Searching for Information About Physicians

Tristan Gorrindo, MD; James E. Groves, MD
JAMA. 2008;300(2):213-215. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.44.
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Physicians have become accustomed to the curiosity and dependency of patients in the practice of medicine. Yet they need autonomy and privacy to move freely in their personal lives. They wince under the glare of publicity and often feel grateful to medical dramas on television and in film for helping to slake that curiosity.

But some patients want more. Physicians intuit that those pressing for nonmedical relationships with their caregivers and those seeking information about them are potentially clinging, possibly personality disordered, or perhaps even threatening.2 Not uncommonly, casual conversations in physicians' dining rooms turn to one or another colleague who is being stalked by a patient and must take the necessary steps to protect home and family. Many physicians are wary of gifts that are too personal and social invitations that seem too seductive. The delicate balance between therapeutic self-disclosure and boundary violations is precarious3 and is an increasingly important part of medical education.



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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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