The newest University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health (NPCH) reveals that mothers are more likely than fathers to consider online doctor ratings when choosing a pediatrician, and younger parents are far more likely than older parents to do so.
Even so, just one-quarter of parents report that online ratings are very important in their search, and word-of-mouth recommendations remain a more trusted source (50%). The NPCH poll finds that 30% of mothers use online ratings while only 19% of fathers employ this approach. The gulf is even wider in terms of a parent's age. More than twice as many parents under 30 (44%) use online doctor ratings as compared to their older counterparts (21%). But there is a caveat.
"Importantly, there is currently no oversight or regulation for rating websites that collect ‘crowdsourced’ information about doctors. It is hard to verify the reliability of the ratings or whether they are subject to manipulation,” cautions Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the NPCH, in a February 18 article on the University of Michigan Health System website. The article has a link to the full NPCH report and a video (see below, featuring Dr. Davis) on this topic, plus other vital information.