When you need a doctor, do you hit the Internet in search of websites that rank and review medical professionals? A new survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals nearly two-thirds of Americans are familiar with physician rating sites.The survey included more than 2,100 men and women ages 18 to 60 and up who completed an online questionnaire in 2012.Respondents said that they are more familiar with other rating sites such as for cars or non-medical services. But 59% said that searching online physician reviews is somewhat or very important when choosing a doctor. Among those who visited a physician review site in the past year, 35% said they had chosen a physician based on good ratings and 37% said they had avoided a physician who ranked poorly.Not everyone is on board, however. For example among those who have not used these sites, 43% reported a lack of trust in the information posted. And overall, patients placed more importance on other criteria such as years of experience and word of mouth with almost 90% saying that health insurance is the factor that most often dictates doctor choice. I’m Dr. Cindy Haines for Healthday TV with health information for healthier living.
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