Online Review Wake Up Call for Doctors

Her doctor almost killed her…An Online Review Wake Up Call for Doctors


That’s Wendy Wester’s claim. She went to see Dr. Alan Brown, an orthopedic surgeon after her knee injury, when she was hurt skiing. Brown diagnosed her injury as an MCL tear.


Wester was rushed to the emergency room after she experienced severe pain. Doctors ordered an MRI and found she had also torn her ACL, LCL and Meniscus. The MRI also showed she had a blood clot in her leg. A blood clot that could have killed her.

Dr. Alan Brown, Wester’s doctor, decided to sue her for defamation after Wester stated in her review that “his enormous ego nearly cost me my life.”


Was she wrong?

The stakes are often higher when it comes to medical and legal services. Especially when people’s lives are on the line. An online review about Pizza Hut, positive or negative, doesn’t have as much weight or consequence compared to the effect online reviews can have for medical and legal professionals.


Online reviews often create all types of dilemmas for doctors and All too often they don’t know how to handle negative reviews.

Some industries simply don’t have the experience they need to handle negative reviews. Businesses in these industries simply want these reviews gone. They feel slandered or bullied by their reviewers.


Sometimes they’re right.

Because from their perspective, they have a lot to lose. A Harvard study found each star in a review affected the business owner’s sales by 5 to 9 percent. Berkeley economists found an increase from 3.5 to 4 stars on.


Doctors have historically been viewed as specialized, elite. Culturally for many, many years and before the age of reviews, they were able to attract and retain customers based almost entirely on or around their status in society.

Things have changed. They are more and more viewed as commodities. “If I don’t like you there’s a dozen others that can do what you do.”

There are a plenty of other Doctors who are more focused on customer needs and concerns. That’s a customer’s perspective going in. What if you’re not willing to do what it takes to earn their business? If you’re not able to get the results they want, they’ll simply take their business elsewhere.


But it isn’t just about results. Customers focus on a wide variety of details in their reviews including…

★   The cleanliness of your location

★   Your “bedside manner” and overall demeanor

★   Whether you’re relatable and easy to understand

★   Whether you succeed in solving their problem (e.g. winning their case or relieving their pain)

★   Wait / response times

★   Support staff performance

★   Your performance overall and their impression of you overall

These details (or their counterparts) matter in healthcare industry and in online brandin of the doctors.


Doctors needs to know how to handle negative reviews.

Many Doctors simply want these reviews gone. Their goal: erase negative reviews as quickly as possible. You know better.

You know it’s better to overwrite rather than erase. To encourage instead of punish. But it all starts with uniqueness. Create the right kind of relationship and they’ll want to stay, lawsuits and litigation becoming a thing of the past.


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