Drop a dime on your doc? Not so fast

Doctors are fighting back against internet sites that allow patients to post reviews of their services and bedside manner.

“Such reviews are becoming more common as consumer ratings services like Zagat’s and Angie’s List expand beyond restaurants and plumbers to medical care…” according to an AP article.

“Consumers and patients are hungry for good information” about doctors, but Internet reviews provide just the opposite, contends Dr. Jeffrey Segal, a North Carolina neurosurgeon who has made a business of helping doctors monitor and prevent online criticism.

He claims reviews are unfairly hurt a doctor’s reputation and focus too little – if at all – on the physician’s skills.

His has formed a company, Medical Justice, to address what he considers a big problem. For a fee, doctors receive a standardized waiver agreement. Patients who sign, agree not to write online reviews or comments about the doctor or treatment.

Do you read online reviews of your doctor? Are they helpful? Has a negative one ever made you change your mind about going to a particular doctor? If you’re a physician, have reviews helped or hurt your practice?

(Note: Written by Shelia Poole)

3 comments Add your comment


March 11th, 2009
12:45 pm

You’d have to be a fool to put any faith in online reviews of doctors. Having worked in a doctor’s office and in the insurance claims field, I know there is just no pleasing some people. The chronic complainers are the ones most likely to post a review. They don’t get the diagnosis they need to inflate a liability claim or the drug they are shopping for just sets them off.
How about the ex girlfriend of wife who wants revenge and posts negative comments?

Do your homework.

Barney Strickland

March 25th, 2009
8:08 am

Pity the poor doctors !! What means will people have to be warned of a crappy MD or surgeon? Yeah, it’s always the oddball who complains….. nobody ever posts a legitimate claim/complaint on these sites. I’m just glad we have tort attorneys to protect us from jerks like Jeffrey Segal. Sniff, sniff, boo-hoo !! I guess we should all depend upon the AMA to provide us negative information against self interest !! Yep, that’s the ticket!

Maurice Larner

May 11th, 2009
6:35 am

The problem isn’t the Doctors! The problem is the Doctor is just an Specialist in his field. Most of the Doctors here Atlanta are great at what they do. It lack of the patient understanding of all the side effects that may occur during the operation. As a husband of wife who just had an operation on her knee. The Doctor who perform the operation was great and he did an excellent job and my wife can stand up and walk with the assit of an walker. But what happen to the patient after the operation at the hospital and at Rehabitation Center creates very confused public on the information provided by the Doctor.