When I am shopping for a doctor, I always google the specialty and the names of physicians who have been recommended. I want to know what other people are saying and I want to get a “feel” if that doctor is a right fit for me. Negative comments aren’t always negative… Surprised by that statement? Let me explain.
Back before the internet age, I was desperately searching for a new OB/GYN a month before my due date to deliver my first child. My then OB/GYN had just told me he would be inducing me because I had no experience having babies and his many years of delivering babies gave him the right to schedule my birth around his vacation plans. So when a nurse said there was one exceptionally popular doctor that she was a bit uncomfortable with because of his willingness to allow mothers-to-be to deliver babies in their own creative ways, I wanted to know his name. Nearly in tears, I called him and he saw me the next day. Four weeks later I delivered a healthy baby in under an hour with no medications. I went on to deliver two more over the years, and I never forgot how that one comment lead me to the most amazing and significant physician in my family’s life (other than my husband).
Today, this kind of information is all over the internet. People are much quicker to post negative comments than positive ones. So why don’t more physicians regularly google themselves? And more importantly, why don’t they get their names out there so the rest of us can learn about them? I recently read through some statistics from case studies conducted by Dr. Sikorski. They were eye-opening.
100% of patients googled doctors when they were considering elective procedures, or had been referred to a specialist.
A hospital realized their less-than-appealing doctor reviews were over 4 years old. When they had new reviews in place, the hospital immediately saw a 20% increase in patients.
Advertising costs decreased by average of 50% while case volumes increased by average of 120% every time the doctors were featured as opposed to the hospital/practice brand
I spent the better part of yesterday searching for a new primary care physician who was knowledgeable in bio-identical hormones. My experience echoed the above stats. Four physicians had reviews posted but they are all dated prior to 2007 (a lot of good that does me). The rest had no digital footprint besides the practice name and address.
In today’s age of social media, physicians shouldn’t count on patients finding them and booking appointment. They should be out there educating us on when we should seek them out, telling us why they are the right choice, and giving us resources to keep us on track with healthy lifestyle choices. Is that too much to ask?
Check out this Pediatric website.