A recent study done by researchers at the University of Michigan for the American Medical Association found that about 25% of U.S. adults consult online review sites to choose their physician. A third of these adults either went to or avoided the physician based on these reviews. Some reviews "can be pretty brutal," says Andrew Pasternak, a family physician in Reno, Nev. Mixed reviews can play a large role in a physicians marketing capabilities. Also, with millions of newly insured Americans entering the marketplace, a positive online presence is necessary. Sumathi Reddy points out that patients who post reviews such as "he spent too much time on his tablet jotting notes," can be beneficial. Doctors can tweak their habits in the examination room by making an effort to show more eye contact while chatting with each patient.
According to the Wall Street Journal, review sites such as Healthgrades.com and Vitals.com have all said they have seen a significant rise in evaluations as well as overall website traffic. This new trend will allow patients to review physicians online as they would restaurants or boutiques.