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Do doctor reviews online tell the whole story?

It is becoming increasingly common to check reviews online before doing anything. Whether you are shopping for a couch or a physician, you want to know what other people experienced when they made the same purchase.

The healthcare industry is no stranger to online reviews, and they run the full range of positive to negative. With so many opinions, it can be challenging to know what reports are helpful and which you should disregard.

Here are a few tips for navigating the long list of online reviews for your prospective doctor.

Too few reviews

When it comes to reviews, quantity matters, it is easy to have a perfect rating when there are only a handful of reviews.

Whether the reviews are all positive or negative, you may need more information if there are not many. The reviews can still be helpful since they can give you ideas for questions to ask the physician at your appointment.

Somewhere in the middle

It is easy to get blinded by five-star ratings and want to proceed with the highest score. You may also be tempted to steer clear of a doctor with less-than-perfect reviews.

The reality is, most doctors will treat a variety of patients who will have different experiences. In some cases, it may speak to the quality of the doctor; in other instances, a patient could have unique factors that contributed to their experience.

You do not need to disregard reviews completely, but you should read them critically. Pay attention to the average opinion in the reviews. Read the reviews for how the doctor communicated with the patient and what happened if there were complications.

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