Just How Useful Are Online Doctor Reviews?

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Even with a host of doctor review websites readily available, online doctor reviews may effectively be totally useless. That’s the disturbing finding from a new study published in the medical journal JAMA.

We’ll talk about what’s going on in this issue.

The Study at a Glance

Authors of the study examined 28 doctor-review websites with reviews of 600 doctors randomly selected in Boston, Dallas and Portland.

About a third of the doctors listed had no reviews at all on any of the sites. Most of the others had just one review. The average number of total reviews for the rest of the doctors? 7 – across all 28 sites.

The ones most likely to have reviews were:

  • Neurologists
  • Internal medicine specialists
  • Surgeons
  • Psychiatrists
  • OB/GYNs

Problems With Reviews That Are Posted

Another issue with online doctor reviews, according to the study, is that there doesn’t seem to be any set structure. Instead, reviews are posted haphazardly, and, for the most part, address areas like punctuality and availability.

Digging Deeper: How To Research Your Doctor

While sites like Healthgrades, Vitals, RateMDs and Yelp are, overall, the most common online sites people turn to first when trying to research their doctor, getting more sensitive information – like whether or not your doctor has had problems with medical malpractice – will require a bit more digging.

A fantastic place to start is docinfo.org. After entering in your doctor’s name, you’ll get a link to your state’s medical board detailing whether or not any legal action has been taken against your doctor.

Another good idea is to research the hospital that your doctor is affiliated with. A good place to start for this info is Consumer Reports Hospital Ratings.

Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm If You Feel You’ve Experienced Medical Malpractice

If you feel that you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, call us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm.

Our number is 800-323-9900, and the first consultation is always free.