doctor rating websites

The smartest way to look at doctor rating websites

It makes sense to keep an eye on your reviews as a doctor. Hysterical reactions hardly ever lead to good outcomes so let’s look at the most rational way to assess the impact of doctor rating websites on your private practice. 

doctor rating websites

The smartest way to look at doctor rating websites

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

March 2, 2022

Ask yourself the most important question first

doctor ratings

When we execute reputation management for a specialist practice, we focus on the essential question first: Is this review really affecting your reputation?

It is easy to think that any review, and we would obviously worry more about the negative ones, affects you. Yet, I like to reframe the diagnostic process so we focus on how the patient sees it. Or doesn’t. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-Founder Digital Practice

"We first look at how visible the review is. No matter how unhappy this patient, from a reputation management perspective, the first focus is to see if the review shows up in Google Search."

his leads us to the first important aspect of your inventory: are we talking about a Google review, or a review on another platform? And if it’s on another platform, does it still show up on Google?

If you are struggling with negative Google reviews, the approach requires a specific process if your intention is to remove, dispute or bury the review. Book a free consult with us if that is your situation. 

If the comment is on a different platform, your most important question still applies. How visible is this review? And how big is the impact of this platform in general?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the Australian doctor rating sites to illustrate this point, so you can have more peace of mind as you assess your overall review situation.

Is it really the TripAdvisor for specialist doctors?

rating websites for doctors

When Whitecoat was set up in 2013, it focused on providing non-clinical reviews of dentists and physios. A few years later, it was announced that the platform would extend to specialists and GPs, with a focus on guiding the patient through the information about gap fees, as well as an opportunity to rate your doctor. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-Founder Digital Practice

"Promoted by health funds, and the subject of some controversy, it looks like Whitecoat has let go of the focus on reviews. It has mainly become a directory to find a doctor."

Although the platform claimed to have over 250,000 reviews at some stage, it now appears that the reviews have been removed. 

We know that – in order to comply with AHPRA regulations – you have to do everything you can to remove testimonials. Which means that you could be seen as legally responsible to send Whitecoat an email, resulting in the total removal of your profile and the reviews.

To avoid this type of complicated situation, it appears that Whitecoat has now become a simple search directory, not a platform that focuses on reviewing doctors.

Ratemds: Probably the most relevant platform after Google

reviewing doctors

Doctor rating websites need an audience and some of them come and go. But if there is one platform you want to keep an eye on, then it’s probably RateMDs

Why? Because these reviews are actually very visible in Google Search. When a patient types your name into Google, the RateMD entry (your profile and your reviews), tend to rank on Page 1 of Google, provided you don’t have a fully optimised content strategy in place.

Reviews are taken down if deemed inappropriate RateMDs does not remove reviews solely because a user claims the review is subjectively unfair.

RateMD – FAQs

There are a few more reasons why I believe that – as a doctor in private practice – you may want to keep an eye on RateMDs.

  • You may have a profile there that you did not create: RateMDs is known to take information from existing platforms and to generate automatic profiles. You can claim your profile and then it is flagged as verified.
  • You can not obtain the complete removal of this unclaimed profile, since RateMDs creates it from publicly available information.
  • On top of the vulnerability created by the online review system, RateMDs may add a ‘People also like’ link under your profile that sends patients straight to your competitor.

My two cents? If your online presence consists of a poor website that does not show up, and a short blurb on your hospital’s main website pages, you may need to reinspect your online marketing strategy. Check out our article about getting your medical practice to the top of Google, for example.

As I said, once you have a fully optimised website with content that you control, you are in a position to push down the RateMD entry and to push it ‘off Page 1 of Google’. Ask us how we can help you with that, by booking a free 1:1 Strategy Session.

Truelocal: Doctors paying to display positive reviews?

doctor rating platforms

Here at Digital Practice, our mission is to make our customers aware of what is out there in the digital realm. 

That is why I want to mention Truelocal as another website that has doctor reviews. Having reviews removed is a similar process to what the other big players have in place. You can not just have one removed because you don’t like it.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-Founder Digital Practice

"At Truelocal, you also have to prove that it is inappropriate, defamatory or illegal. But what is really important to know here is that paying customers get to push their positive reviews to the top!"

Why is it good to be aware of this? If all you have is a minimal website, these directories and platforms become the backbone of your visibility. In other words, not the content you control, but your profile on Truelocal could be ending up on Page 1 of Google Search Results. 

You could then be surrounded by competitors who have a Truelocal account and pay for it, and their account could be decorated with positive doctor reviews, unlike your own.

Does this mean we recommend getting a paid Truelocal account? Not unless you want to.

A more sustainable long-term strategy is to get really good at content marketing, so you dilute the impact of your reviews and don’t depend on them.

A few words about content strategies

review management for doctors

Our customers know that content marketing is the real Holy Grail of medical marketing. Making your practice visible on Google is all about taking control of what patients see when they do an online search. Not just for your name, or the commodity of your services, like ‘gynaecologist sydney’. 

What you really want is visibility for a broad range of topics that patients google for.

When we work with you as a customer, we map the topics that you want to be visible for.
Creating the content that actually makes this happen also has a nice side-effect: the impact of your reviews and ratings, no matter what platform they are on, gets diluted and becomes less dominant when you look at your online reputation.

Let's meet

Let’s talk about your ratings

remove negative doctor ratings

If your practice needs support handling and managing doctor reviews, book a free 1:1 consultation. We will talk about the content that patients currently see when they are looking for your services, or when they check you out online.
And more importantly, we will explore what content your practice needs to become less dependent on the quality of your ratings and reviews.

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