Top 10 Reasons to Rate Your Doctor
When it comes to choosing a doctor, honest and objective reviews from actual patients can provide much-needed guidance and peace of mind. Sharing your experiences and opinions not only benefits your fellow consumers, but can also improve the quality of service you receive from your healthcare providers and their staff. Consider these top 10 reasons to rate your doctor:
- Help newcomers to your community find a primary care physician. If you’ve ever relocated for school, work or personal reasons and found yourself alone in a new city, then you know just how difficult it can be to find a good doctor when you first arrive. In the past, people often selected a doctor by picking a name at random from their insurance company’s list of participating providers, or by looking up ads in their local phone directory. Today, doctor rating and review sites enable new residents to make informed decisions about healthcare providers. Your feedback can help the newest members of your community find the right doctor and adjust more easily to their new home.
- Help your neighbors find a specialist. While longtime residents of a community typically have a family doctor they’re comfortable with, a sudden illness or injury can leave them scrambling to find a good specialist. Concerns over choosing the best doctor can make a difficult situation even more stressful. If you or anyone in your family has ever required specialized care, consider sharing your experiences with others who find themselves in the same circumstances. Your advice could bring great relief to scared and anxious patients – and help them feel less alone.
- Help new parents find an obstetrician or pediatrician. Expectant mothers have many decisions to make, from picking names and nursery colors to choosing an obstetrician, delivery hospital, and pediatrician. Just as every mother is unique, so too are her selection criteria. Some parents look for state-of-the-art facilities, while others prioritize a warm bedside manner. Some insist upon a practitioner with years of experience, while others prefer a younger doctor well versed in the latest medical advances. If you have children, your ratings and reviews of various physicians would make a welcome gift to new mothers. Outline all the reasons you chose one doctor over another, so others can benefit from your research and wisdom.
- Provide feedback on your doctor’s expertise. One of the most important factors in choosing a healthcare provider is his or her level of clinical expertise. Did your doctor conduct a thorough review of your medical history and ask the right questions? Did her knowledge and experience contribute to the early detection of a condition? Or did she ignore or misdiagnose symptoms you brought to her attention? Have you attained optimal health under her care? Or have other doctors had to fix problems she created? Your input can help other patients make the right choice – and avoid the potential consequences of the wrong one.
- Offer your opinion of a doctor’s bedside manner. Doctors need more than education, experience, and medical skills to put their patients at ease. Quite often, an individual’s comfort level is directly related to a physician’s bedside manner. Practitioners who come across as brusque, condescending, or judgmental may actually deter people from seeking the help they need. Your review of a doctor can provide positive reinforcement for a great bedside manner – or anonymously hint that improvements are needed. When possible, provide specific examples and constructive criticism so your doctor will feel motivated to take positive action rather than dismiss the review as an unwarranted attack.
- Share your thoughts on a doctor’s support staff. Office staff can make or break a great physician. Rude receptionists, careless billing clerks, or unprofessional assistants can taint a patient’s perception of a doctor and harm the overall practice. Don’t abandon a good doctor simply because of you have issues with the staff – it’s quite possible your physician is unaware of customer service problems outside the exam room. Take advantage of the anonymity of online reviews to alert your doctor to your concerns, giving him the opportunity to implement corrective measures – or hire better help.
- Comment on the availability and convenience of appointments. Are you able to quickly secure an appointment in the event of an illness, or do you have to wait days or even weeks to be seen? Does your doctor offer early, late, or weekend appointments that accommodate your work schedule? If you find it difficult to make an appointment, it could be a sign that your doctor is more focused on acquiring new patients than serving existing ones. Voicing your concern via online reviews can help your doctor realize he needs to add more – or more convenient – appointment times. At the very least, it may deter new patients from choosing your doctor and filling all the available appointment slots.
- Provide input on wait times. Is your doctor as respectful of your time as you are of hers? If you show up for your appointment on schedule, you shouldn’t have to spend an inordinately long time in the waiting room or sitting alone in the exam room. While even the most conscientious doctor may run late on an unexpectedly busy day, you shouldn’t be subjected to excessively long waits every time you visit. If that happens, use online doctor rating sites to (anonymously) suggest more realistic scheduling.
- Assess the amount of attention you receive. When you meet with your doctor, does he take the time to provide a thorough examination and answer all of your questions? Or does the appointment feel rushed? Warning symptoms or risk factors for serious conditions may be overlooked if your physician doesn’t give you enough time or attention. Speak up if your visit seems overly hurried, and use online review forums to reiterate the need for sufficient time and attention.
- Signify whether insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses seem reasonable. Given that your health insurance may change several times during your lifetime, you should check to see which insurance plans are accepted by your doctor and confirm what out-of-pocket expenses are associated with the most common plans. This is an important consideration for patients when choosing a doctor, so it’s very helpful to include this information in your doctor ratings and reviews.
While there are many more than 10 reasons to rate your doctor, this list will get you started and help you become a valued contributor to rating and review sites. A few minutes of your time can go a long way toward helping others make one of life’s most important decisions – and can also prompt your physician to make some changes for the better. Try it today – click here to rate your doctor and provide a review.