What Kinds of Doctor Reviews Are Most Helpful? Vitals Explains

Anyone who’s ever researched a product, service, establishment, or provider online knows the frustration of combing through unhelpful, lengthy, and unsubstantial reviews in search of feedback that can be used to make a decision.

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What do you look for when researching doctors online?

When it comes to reviews of doctors by their patients, no one is as knowledgeable about the range of information patients provide, as well as what goes into a truly effective review, as the members of the Vitals Customer Service Team.

What does an effective physician review look like?
Effective reviews typically contain detailed information about the care and treatment provided. They don’t speak in generalities, and they describe the entire patient experience from start to finish, up to and including details about the office environment and the staff.

It’s also important to keep reviews as succinct as possible, so others may quickly scan for the kind of information that interests them most.

What kind of information should it contain?
Effective reviews take into account the information that patients are best to assess: how they are talked to and treated by a doctor, how efficient and helpful the staff is, and how comfortable the office environment is.

Patient-reported outcomes can be very helpful to those seeking similar care.  Reading that someone else’s hip healed and they were free from pain after surgery may not be a guarantee that you’ll have identical results, but it may help to narrow the field nevertheless.

What are some examples of effective reviews?
Specific about treatment and outcome, while also describing interactions with the doctor and staff:

Dr. Kanayama treated me for endometriosis and infertility. I had terrible pain, and to be brief, had spent years being treated for infertility and other gynecological problems. Dr. K operated on me and my pain was gone almost immediately. I was pregnant 2 months later and am now the proud mom of a 9 month old. It sounds like a fairytale, but it’s just good science. He’s the best and I cannot recommend him enough. Some other comments: his staff is kind and efficient, he is caring and takes time with patients (which makes waits long, but worth it), the hospital where he operates is wonderful!

Provides relevant background information for a useful context:

I went to Dr. Heerdt for a second opinion. I had been diagnosed with cancer in my left breast and was told I had nothing to worry about on my right side – this from biospy pathology, ultrasounds, and a lumpectomy. Dr. Heerdt’s MRI evaluation told another story. I followed her recommendation, had a mastectomy of the right breast as well – and the new pathology revealed – cancer. Had it not been for Dr. Heerdt, I would have gone through a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation to treat my left breast – only to have to go through it all over again with a looming recurrence on the right – that was missed by everybody else. Who knows, it could have even metastasized before detection. She delivered difficult information and answered my many questions directly, patiently, and compassionately.

Has a review ever helped you choose a new physician? Tell us about your experience!

And don’t forget to pay it forward by reviewing your doctors on vitals.com.