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One quarter of Americans use online physician rating sites

Twenty-five percent of people in the United States use online physician rating sites and 65 percent are aware of the sites according to a new survey that was representative of the United States population conducted by Dr. David A. Hanauer of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan and colleagues that was published in the Feb. 18, 2014, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Doctor by Luke Fildes (1843–1927).
The Doctor by Luke Fildes (1843–1927).This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 80 years or less.

People over fifty consulted online physician rating sites more frequently than younger people. This may be a result of the higher levels of disease and ailments in people over 50 but is an anomaly in the use of the internet by people over 50.

More people used the internet to evaluate cars and consumer goods than they did doctors according to the survey results.

Forty-three percent of the participants in the survey claimed they did not trust the information on the online physician rating sites. Forty-one percent of the respondents claimed the online physician rating sites were very important in their decision to use a particular physician.

As the internet increasingly becomes the source of information most often used by people, physicians may resort to having favorable reviews posted by professional writers on online physician rating sites as is the present practice for book reviews, television program sites, movie reviews, and most products.