Online physician rating Web sites are increasing in popularity, raising concerns from some physicians, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
Users and those who run physician rating Web sites argue that the ratings provide consumers with important information.
Many physicians say that online ratings do not provide an accurate or complete picture of doctors. They note that because many sites allow users to rate physicians anonymously, it is unclear if the information is accurate.
Some physicians are going as far as to ask patients to sign privacy agreements that prohibit them from posting comments or rating physicians online.
Fred Whitson of the Florida Medical Association said Florida consumers can get better information about physicians from other sources, such as the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration or the state Department of Health.
However, Whitson acknowledged that online physician rating sites are here to stay. He said that taking certain measures, such as eliminating anonymous comments, could improve the sites (Martin, St. Petersburg Times, 5/17).