More using doc-rating websites

A physician’s online rating more important than ever

By Bart Everson (Flickr: Doctor's Office) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

More so than in the past, Americans are looking to online ratings to choose their doctor, a survey finds.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School surveyed more than 2,100 Americans, finding that more than two-thirds of respondents were aware that such physician-rating sites exist, and one-quarter had used the sites in the past year, according to HealthDay. Most important, people use the sites to make decisions: 35 percent of those surveyed chose a doctor based on a good rating, while 37 percent avoided a physician with a poor rating.

Sites vary greatly in how users rate their experience at a doctor’s office. For example, on general sites like, doctors and restaurants alike are rated on a star system, while sites such as Healthgrades offer more comprehensive surveys.

The researchers noted that, since only a few of a doctor’s patients are likely to rate their experience online, the ratings can be skewed by one bad review.