Rating Doctors


As unproven as customer satisfaction surveys are, they are not going away.  A new study found 59 percent of people said those physician-rating sites were at least “somewhat important” when choosing a doctor.  This trend continues to climb.  Are they valid?  Of course not.  Can you get destroyed on these sites?  You betcha.  If only a few people rate you and one idiot slams you then the numbers look skewed. And one out of five of your patients are looking at these sites: Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com and RateMDs.com.  If you don’t think patients believe what they read then you are clueless.  So the big question is whether to ignore this or not?  My gut tells me we need to pay attention and that we need to use the system in our favor (if you get my drift). 


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “Rating Doctors

  1. Roy
    February 27, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Not only are there these “doc rating” sites, but the broader, more-popular rating sites like yelp and google have gotten into the act. You can now rate your dry cleaner, dog walker, gutter cleaner, and physician– all at once!

  2. I Love My Doctor
    February 27, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Thanks for keeping us informed about these sites. I just visited all of them, and see that I, uh, I mean my doctor, is now highly rated in all areas!

  3. JRDO
    February 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I don’t give a rat’s ass about my online physicians rating. I look at the quarterly financial reports from my private practice and it’s very clear how patients vote. If my patient visits and revenue’s are up- I’m liked. If my patient visits and revenues are down- then I am not liked. It’s a much better way of gauging performance than paying attention to the few discontents who post online.

  4. Pat
    February 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    In that context, I rate the Authentic Medicine blog as “very useful” in its overall mission; “very responsive” to readers’ concerns; “very diverse” in allowing differing points of view; “very helpful” in underscoring the need for primary care pay increases; “very important” in explaining how well health care reform is working; “very supportive” in explaining primary care pipeline, practice transformation, and engagement; “very supportive” in explaining the critical value of quality metrics in a dynamic practice environment; “very friendly” in dealing with dietary topics and inquiries; and “somewhat useful” in addressing LELT concerns.

    Overall I rate the blog as “very” in over 9 of 10 categories, with the expectation that this will result in the return of appropriate bonus monies from Medicare, of which as a loyal reader/rater I would appreciate a cut.

    • Doug Farrago
      February 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm


  5. Ken
    February 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I’ve always felt that if a patient avoids me because of reading poor online reviews, then it is his loss and my gain.

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