JAMA Reports on Online Physician Ratings

In the February 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the results of a multiple year study were revealed.  The study sought information on what is important to prospective patients when searching for a new doctor. Among the obvious answers were things such as whether or not the doctor would accept the patient’s healthcare coverage as well as the convenience of the location, but there was also a new trend: the way doctors are perceived online has an impact. Nearly 60% of those surveyed stated that a physician’s ratings online were either somewhat important (40%) or very important (19%).

That means that to almost 20% of the population, online reviews are critical in deciding whether or not you should be someone’s physician. Of those patients who sought out a doctor based on online reviews, 35% picked their doctor based on positive reviews, at the same time, 37% of people reported that they avoided doctors with bad reviews. When doctors take no action to protect and strengthen their name online, they are neglecting a crucial and growing avenue for new patients to find them.