Often when patients are making a decision on a new dermatologist they have been referred by family members, a specialist or their insurance company. Then they begin researching doctor biographies on company websites and read online reviews.

Online reviews are a mixture of stories, comments, celebrations and warnings. I encourage anyone who is researching a physician or dermatologist online to understand there are always two sides to every story and to do further research after reading reviews when booking appointments for their medical care.

Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades are the more common platforms where reviews are posted. We encourage patients to leave feedback about their experience. We also offer ways for dissatisfied patients to leave it directly with us so we can reach out to them and learn more.

Both positive and negative reviews are helpful to our practice. Positive reviews are rewarding and they offer insight to a patient’s experience. Negative feedback can also be helpful when it’s constructive and it allows us to see where we can do better and how to create a better experience for our patients.

What's difficult to read online is when patients address their medical visits with slander and hostility, painting a picture of their condition becoming worse,etc. Often patients who leave negative complaints don’t comprehend the complexities of their skin condition and treatment. I have also seen several patients speak negatively about their visit online only to learn they were upset or concerned about a bill they received. This can happen when a patient doesn’t know what services their insurance may cover.

Due to HIPPA regulations and client privacy we tend to not respond publicly to online reviews. Even when the patient states specifics about their appointment, our hands are tied in how we respond publicly. Instead, we try to reach out privately to dissatisfied patients. Usually though less than 10% of these patients contact us back.

In summary, I would not put too much stock in online reviews. There are all kinds of ways that reviews can influence patients but we are finding that patients are looking less and less at reviews and are spending more time looking into information on our website such as the providers training, qualifications and services provided.

Contact Dermatology Associates for a consultation from one of our board-certified dermatologists who can answer all of your questions with both knowledge and over 30 years of dermatological experience.