Kevin Pho, MD, Discusses “Dealing With A Negative Online Review On A Physician Rating Site”

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MAY 3, 2011

“Dealing With A Negative Online Review On A Physician Rating Site”

Kevin Pho, MD

Whenever I speak about social media to doctors across the country, I often get asked, “How do I deal with a negative online review?” Here’s one way not to handle it: sue the patient writing the review.

There’s a well publicized case (1) in Minnesota, where a resident posted a screenshot of the situation on REDDIT, and wrote: “This dickface doctor from my hometown is suing a WWII veteran’s family for $50,000 for rating him poorly on the Internet. Perhaps he deserves a few more poor ratings …”

REDDIT, for those who don’t know, is a social news service, and receives millions of page views daily. As a testament to its visibility, that screenshot shows the link received 635 comments.

The exposure on REDDIT triggered scores of clearly fabricated negative reviews on the physician’s GOOGLE PLACES page, HEALTHGRADES, and VITALS.

So, if the doctor was so worried about negative reviews before, the situation is much worse now.

Doctors shouldn’t try to remove negative online ratings. Previous attempts have failed, and in this case, suing the patient has compounded an already bad situation.

A recent study from the JOURNAL OF GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE last year that showed that close to 90% of online physician ratings were, in fact, positive. Doctors should use that fact to their advantage. How? Provide patients with clear, written instructions to rate them online. Do not coerce or “suggest” that they write a positive review. Simply ask them to go online and rate their doctor. Chances are, their review will be better than most doctors think, and will make the more vicious statements appear more like outliers.

Footnote 1

Kevin Pho is an internal medicine physician and on the Board of Contributors at USA Today. He is founder and editor of KevinMD.com, also on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and LINKEDIN.

SOURCE

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Web Posting

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply To Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Cease And Desist Letter To Defendant Dennis Laurion

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Complaint To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint To Sixth Judicial District Duluth Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Response To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Answer To Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Motion For Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Deposition Extracts

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances Before Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances After Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony In Response To Questions By Marshall Tanick

Affidavits By Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Parents

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Supplemental Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Motion To Oppose Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Memo In Support Of Motion For Summary Judgment

Sixth Judicial District Court’s Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Appeal Of Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Order To Strike Portion Of Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Announces Decision

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Petition For Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Opposition To Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court Decision On David McKee MD V. Dennis K. Laurion

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2010

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2011

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2012

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2013

McKee V Laurion Is A Textbook Case

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