While clinicians are often aware that their patients seek second opinions, they are rarely taught specific skills for how to effectively communicate with patients when they are the ones providing that second opinion. The nuances of these skills are amplified when the second opinion being provided is to the ubiquitous (and often anonymous) Dr. Google. In this perspective, the authors share an approach for discussing a patient’s pre-visit health-related internet findings. After emphasizing the importance of setting the stage, they describe the WWW Framework which proposes “waiting” before responding with data, getting to the “what” of the patient’s search, and “working together” to negotiate a plan. This stepwise approach is designed to provide psychological safety, build a therapeutic alliance, and empower collaborative treatment planning.
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© 2021, Society of General Internal Medicine.
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