“Do You Google Your Shrink?”


“I knew my psychiatric practice was forever changed the day a patient arrived with a manila folder stuffed with printouts and announced that it contained the contents of a Google search that he had done on me,” writes Anna Fels in the New York Times.

“But after a few minutes of listening to my patient present his findings, I was nearly overwhelmed by feelings both of exposure and of curiosity about his trove,” writes Fels, as she explores both the negatives and positives of reduced privacy. “Clearly, this was part of his intent, which would be the subject for many a future session. But I also realized that the relative anonymity of therapists, and all the mystery, power and privacy that attended it, were being swept away.”

A subsequent letter to the editor in response to the story went viral, when a psychiatrist asked the Times to print his letter so that his patients would know that he’d actually been published in the New York Times.

Do You Google Your Shrink? (New York Times, April 4, 2015)

Psychiatrist wants patients to see his name in the New York Times (CNN Money, April 7, 2015)


  1. This probably applies to most professions. previously a privilege exclusively of the contractor/employer and not the client/employee. The proverbial shoe is ubiquitously and of equal intrusion on the other foot. I always “google” anyone I intend to seek medical attention, professional services from, I do not take them my findings, and often find my searches an inadequate review to make an informed opinion before meeting one on one.

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  2. My ex-shrink got into a physical altercation with a lawyer in the same office building. They threatened to sue each other. I wish I knew what a buffoon he was before I became his patient.

    There should be a Bad Doc list but I suppose that could invite lawsuits especially from the aforementioned buffoon.

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