Online doctor ratings aren’t very helpful –

By Kevin Pho

When I ask new patients how they found me, frequently they say on the Internet through search engines such as Google.Out of curiosity, I recently Googled myself. Numerous ads appeared, promising readers a “detailed background report” or a “profile” of me. Among the search results was information about my practice, whether I was board certified, had any lawsuits against me, and reviews from online doctor rating sites. Thankfully, most were favorable, but some were not.

via Online doctor ratings aren’t very helpful –

Kevin, MD, who else?

Great work Kevin!  (I shook his hand once, might have been my brush with fame).


  1. Well if it’s on the internet it must be true!!!!!!

  2. Glen in Odessa says:

    For those in Texas, I suggest a few steps for using the net to find a new doctor:

    1. Check your insurance company web site. Before accepted as a network provider, the doctor has demonstrated his ability to fill out a very long form, and to recall accurately dates of past academic and practical events. For primary care, an insurance staff member may actually visit the office, looking for things like record storage, office access, and measuring restrooms to verify ADA compliance. Being a provider for a major insurance company also means there is unlikely to been an extensive history of malpractice suits or board actions. Make a list of a few of the docs who are near you, and who are of the specialty you need.

    2.Go to That takes you to the Texas Medical Board web site. Click on “Look Up a Licensee”. There you may search and find the legal data on the docs on your list, as well as his phone number and address. If she has been subject to board action, you can read the details and make up your own mind.

    3. Board Certified. The TMB web site will state if the physician is board certified, and by what board. Board Certified is always better when you are finding a new doc. You can usually google the name of the board that issued the certification, and find more than you want to know about what hoops have to be jumped through by the certified doc.

    For finding obscure specialties-say Neuro-Opthamologist. All rare medical critters hang out in large cities. If you don’t live in a large city, you will have to depend on local doc to recomend which rare bird you should see. When they do this, go back to step 2. The great doc your local provider knew when a resident may have had problems in the decade or two since.

    Notice I did not mention the rate your doc sites? Most take information from insurance sites and cross post. I’ve personally received two phone calls from such sites, informing me that the clinic where I work had been rated, and for a fee we would be allowed to respond to any post made there by patients. If patients post for free, the only way such web sites can make money is by getting money from physicians, and by selling advertising. The first has practical ethical problems, the second is unlikely to support a good web site. So it is best to assume they are *completely useless* when searching for a physician.