How the Internet Is Transforming the Physician-Patient Relationship

James G. Anderson, PhD, Professor of Medical Sociology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

In This Article


The Internet is rapidly changing the doctor-patient relationship. By providing access to medical information, online medical advice, computer-based home-monitoring systems, and online support groups, the Internet is making it possible for patients to assume much more responsibility for their own health care. In doing so, however, patients may challenge the traditional role of the physician in providing care. At the same time, the Internet is prompting patients to ask new questions about access to cost and quality of care information. These issues are thoroughly covered in a soon-to-be published text by James Anderson and Kenneth Goodman[1] and are outlined below.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.