Community

rate your doctor how to write an online review

Check out the many doctor review websites to see which one(s) ask the questions you think should be answered. A site that asks about the appearance of the waiting room as one of the criteria that are equal to how well the doctor communicated with you isn’t worth the time it takes to write the review. Be sure the criteria being measured are important aspects of your care.
Remember that your doctor as a person, and your doctor as a practitioner, are actually two different things. Don’t mix up her personality with her capabilities, including - no name calling. Name calling belongs in middle school, not in a doctor review. And remember that nice does not equal competent - and a competent doctor isn’t measured by how nice he or she is. Your doctor might be a great guy, nice as can be, but that doesn’t mean he has diagnosed you correctly or given you good medical advice.

On the other hand, just because a doctor is curt, uses medspeak, or stares at the computer instead of looking at you, doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what she’s doing or isn’t providing the medical advice you need. However, it may mean he is not a good communicator, and if you don’t understand what you’ve been told, then that’s definitely a negative for you. In any review you write, be fair about personality vs capability.
Avoid generalities. Talk about your experience specifically and objectively. “The drug she prescribed didn’t work and it turned out she had misdiagnosed me” is a good description of an experience. But “This doctor doesn’t know what she’s doing” is not. “This doctor was able to diagnose me after six months of bad experiences with other doctors” is a good description of your experience. “This doctor is a genius at diagnosing his patients” is not.

Remember, too, that there is a thin line between accurate negativity and defamation. There have been a handful of lawsuits brought against patients by doctors over less-than-flattering reviews. To date, the patients have prevailed in those suits, but it is probably only a matter of time before a line is crossed and a doctor triumphs. Make sure you aren’t the patient who finds herself on the short end. Accurately describe your own experience, don’t try to generalize about other patients, and leave the adjectives about your emotions out of the review.
Be short and succinct. While the tiny details that explain the extent of your medical problem are important to you, it’s only the bigger picture conclusion that is important to someone else. Other patients don’t need to know exactly what your thyroid test results were over the past year to understand a simple statement that they were read or translated incorrectly, or that you were given the wrong test.
Finally, be sure you come to a conclusion, and keep it specific, if possible. “If you want a refill on your pain pills, don’t ask Dr. Wilson because he won’t refill pain pill prescriptions early,” or “Dr. Anderson has helped me deal with my fibro.” Statements like those will be helpful to the people who have similar medical problems to yours, but won’t have a negative impact on someone with a different problem.