The Bad Review
Reviews, this is the new world and I am so not used to it. Online reviews have become so important to all of us I am sure. Who doesn’t check Yelp to see if they would enjoy a new restaurant or find out other people’s experiences with a dry cleaner? I admit, I love to get some info before I check out a new place.
I shouldn’t be surprised yet I am still appalled that doctors are now part of the review frenzy. I get that we might be rated or graded in terms of education, availability, professional experience and specialty. These kind of ratings take into consideration a body of work, all of the things that go into becoming and being a physician.
The new review process is a snapshot in time. You can be judged on one 20 minute period out of a career. Maybe you were having a very bad day and need to apologize, maybe the reviewer was having a really bad day and misinterpreted your actions. I can take constructive criticism when it is delivered in person, it helps me to be a better doctor and gives me a chance to make things right. The very public pillaring by an individual who may well have a legitimate gripe is certainly painful.
I am so happy that we rarely have had a bad review, but this week we got one. The writer seemed like a very reasonable person who had a very unagreeable encounter at our office. I don’t know the whole story, just what I read online, I do know that she was very upset with us. I reached out with an online comment expressing my concern and desire to understand and fix the problem. I can only respond to the negative review and hope that the patient sees it and knows that I am sincere. There is nothing I can do about the tens/hundreds/thousands(!) of people who read the review and decide not to give us a try.
The flip side to all of this is that we find ourselves needing to ask patients to review us just to provide a balance of many people’s experiences. We have to rely on others to present us as who we really are, warts and all.
For myself, I have never posted a negative review. I have had negative experiences but just feel that the public forum isn’t required. I would hate to trash someone’s reputation or cause them shame or embarrassment when a simple conversations will get the results I look for. Call me old fashioned but that approach has served me pretty well over my 60 plus years.
I don’t blame the internet generation, it is how they learned to deal with the world. All I can do is my best and carry on. To those I have offended or let down, give me a call!