I am a doctor.
Wouldn't doctors googling their patients essentially violate HIPAA rules?
Because you've now let the fact that you are a doctor treating a specific patient bleed out around the corners, and since Google is keeping track of who you are and what you searched for, they know it too.
Unless you are doing this in such a way that you can guarantee you're not causing patient confidentiality to be breached (which Google sure as hell isn't), I'm of the opinion you've demonstrated a lapse in ethics, and a breech of the law.
Violating HIPAA takes intent. And you're taking the doctor's responsibility to protect patient information way too far.
For example, Doctor X discusses Patient Y's case with Friend Z, with specific identifying information. HIPAA violation.
Doctor X discusses Patient Y's case with consulting Doctor A in a suitably private conversation over the telephone. Unknown to the parties, the NSA / and/or the phone company is wiretapping the line, and just learned all about Patient Y. Not a HIPAA violation on either Doctor's part. Doctors have to take reasonable precautions to protect their patient's privacy. Guarding against every possible outlet that snooping intelligence agencies and snooping internet companies could use is too much, and we'd never get anything productive done.
And, even if you search in a manner you know was anonymous, if those searches come from something which is identifiable as being the anonymous search of doctors, the content of those searches can still leak information out.
Because when Google see that Dr. Joe Quack has searched for Bob Skippy Smith followed by a quick refresher on the symptoms of herpes .... Google knows (or can infer) that Bob Smith has Herpes.
Doctors are not information theorists, and quite possibly not well educated enough about this technology to be using it in conjunction with their medical practice. Because clearly, if they understood this a little better, they'd realize they've more or less violated their ethics (and possibly the law) by doing this.
Doctors Googling their patients is a terrible idea, and has every possibility of violating the privacy of the patient, as well as the laws meant to protect it.
This would be an incredibly bad idea on Google's part to try to gather accurate information this way on patients. Because I assure you, doctors are neither linear nor subject related in their internet searching. Just because I google "gstoddart" and then a few minutes later "UpToDate: complications of inserting foreign objects in anus" does not mean the two are anywhere related, despite what you're thinking. I may have 20 different patients on my service at any given time, and I frequently have to be thinking about multiple cases at any given time during a workday. Hell, just to make things more confusing for google, maybe I googled "best place to order roses nearby" in between those two google searches, because I'm taking my girlfriend out to dinner after work.
Sorry, while I hate it, no one, not me, not you, has privacy anymore online or electronically. While we can fight against it, get used to it.