Do Online Reviews Matter for Doctors?
Do Online Reviews Matter for Doctors?
May 25, 2018 by eMedEvents

Online reviews play a pivotal role in the current world. We look up reviews for everything we use in our lives from which restaurant to try, a new destination to check out, and even check Uber ratings. So, does that mean online reviews about our doctors are valuable information?

Patient reviews apparently do matter a lot. According to Software Advice, nearly 72% of patients looked up their doctor’s reviews online before making an appointment. And this number is steadily rising in the US. Since many patients rely on the internet to find the nearest doctor or other answers to their questions, online reviews have become an important deciding factor in which doctor to see.

In order to provide exceptional healthcare to patients, doctors need to stay updated on the latest trends in their specialization, new insurance policy coverage, procedural updates, and prescriptions. For these reasons and more, doctors need to attend various CME medical conferences.

At eMedEvents, we understand that doctors need to manage their online presence along with their CME credits. To do this, we suggest doctors read blogs such as KevinMD and Dr. Mike Sevilla, to understand the dynamics of using social media and internet reviews to their advantage. These online reviews are written in several formats such as Google reviews, Facebook, Yelp, Health Grades, LinkedIn, clinic and hospital websites, and other medical apps.


There are 3 advantages of online reviews for doctors:

  • A healthy online presence can attract out-of-network patients. Many people Google their symptoms first online, followed by consulting their family physician, where they often are referred to an out-of-network specialist. If a potential patient searches this doctor’s profile online it is important that they find positive reviews to ensure that they follow up.
  • Online reviews also serve as patient feedback for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems- HCAHPS. These reviews prove to be an effective standard to measure patients’ experiences.
  • Brand Factor: Not only are online reviews important for increasing the number of patients, but they can also act as a branding factor. Relevant, positive reviews will create trust among new and current patients in regards to the care of their doctor.

Online reviews can have both positive and negative aspects to them. Since doctors do not have control over what people write about them or whether this information is relevant to their practice, this can raise questions about the relevance of online reviews.

Several articles criticize online reviews that do not showcase the doctor’s abilities and skill sets. These reviews tend to be biased at times, as a lot of other factors are not taken into consideration and irrelevant information is often shared. A patient’s negative experience at the hospital or clinic has little to do with the doctor’s capabilities. Patients often criticize hospital bills, long waiting hours, staff behavior, and the doctor’s opinion in these online reviews. They often do not provide clarity to the reader about their health history, insurance coverage, and other factors.

The true quality of medical care is not easy to gauge using online reviews. A patient needs to rely on other factors, not just online reviews, before booking an appointment with a doctor.

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