Physician Surveys, a Means for Slander and Defamation by the Disgruntled… Empower Patients to Participate In Their Care to lessen Doctor/Patient Relationship Conflicts…

These online physician rating websites would be more useful if, like with the Better Business Bureau, more than a certain number of complaints must be received from different people before they are given any credence and posted, but even then, there has to be a description of the problem or grievance and the accused business is given an opportunity to rebut. We physicians need to be able to rate patients! They can be unreasonable and demanding sometimes, but we are professionals and trained on how to decelerate a situation, educate patients, and provide standard of care. But like everything service oriented, people are more likely to complain when disgruntled than complement when pleased. Today there is so much media and pharmaceutical industry driven self information available on TV commercials and the internet, targeting advertisements directly to the technology savvy patients. They use their platform to push patients to demand a certain treatment model, specific testing or a particular Rx which may or may not be appropriate, applicable or safe for their condition, followed by an extensive list of disclaimer’s, so you not only have to educate and treat a patient for their disease process, as a physician, an expert who spent seven plus years in post college graduate education and medical specialty training, but you have to defend your choice of treatment against an entity who’s sole desire is to create profit first then provide a health conscious product and or information. So, if you do not tolerate this type of patient coming to you with misinformation and deny them the treatment desired, dismissing it immediately by minimizing their concerns, then they become disgruntled, so you have to spend extra time with them explaining why they may or may not meet the indicated criterion, then you have gone over their designated appointment time and they are encroaching into the next patient’s appointment time, throwing you off of your schedule. Now because you did not give them what they wanted, you might be rated adversely by them and by the person after them for a longer wait time. Fortunately, I have always involved my patients in their care and have a great rapport with my patients so they trust my judgment and opinion on medical options available to them. I am all for empowering my patients and allowing them to participate in their own care but I am not going to be a ‘yes’ doctor just to get good ratings for a bogus website that is not publishing reliable information. If someone posts defaming comments against us hiding under the guise of anonymity then we should, at the very least, be allowed to face our accusers albeit anonymous and defend ourselves, our practice, our reputation, our livelihood, against slander!

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