Posted On
September 1, 2017

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 1

For non-emergency situations when you need a medical treatment, you’re still in the “potential patient” phase” and have the time to look up doctors you may want to visit or, the doctor that you’ve been referred to by your primary care physician.

There are a number of doctor review websites that are popular with patients, new ones are popping up all the time, and other companies like Google are getting into the doctor ratings game.

If you’ve gone online to search for what other people think about a doctor then you’re one of over 80% of US adults who are going online to find healthcare related information.

Confusion about the best doctor review sites for patients grows as the choices and sources of information continue to grow.

It’s not easy trying to determine which doctor review websites are the best so we’ll provide some insight into the value that each of these tops brings to patients. Choosing which website is best for you and your medical needs may depend on what type of information and or type of provider you are looking for.

Healthgrades

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 2

Founded

1998, Headquartered in Denver, Colorado


Traffic

Healthgrades.com averages over 19 million visits per month (via Similarweb.com). According to Healthgrades, “more than one million people a day use the Healthgrades website to search, compare and connect with hospitals and physicians.”

Info for Patients

Your photo, how many miles away your practice is located from the searcher’s zip code, your specialty, your overall star rating (5-star scale), and total number of reviews.

Healthgrades’ review survey lets patients give a star rating on four separate issues:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Helpfulness
  • Staff
  • Scheduling

Healthgrades provides patients with information on the doctor they’re looking up including:

  • Doctors’ board certifications
  • Types of procedures offered
  • Insurance plans accepted

Healthgrades also recognizes facilities for: America’s 50 and 100 Best Hospitals, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, and Excellence Awards in 26 areas. Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, a Healthgrades evaluation, help patients make an informed decisions about where to get treated.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

Many doctors and medical practices are already listed on Healthgrades with curated information from government and commercial sources to build its database. Doctors can claim their profile for free and upload a headshot, fill out high-interest fields, review curated information for accuracy (certifications, specialties, etc.), customize profile with to attract ideal patients, and the ability to earn a Healthgrades Honor Roll recognition.

Healthgrades includes five pieces of information about doctors in a search results list:

  1. Your photo
  2. How many miles away your practice is located from the searcher’s zip code
  3. Your specialty
  4. Your overall Healthgrades star rating (5-star scale)
  5. Total number of reviews.

RateMDs

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 3

Founded

2004 in San Jose, California

Traffic

RatedMDs.com averages over 2 million visits per month (Similiarweb.com). According to RateMDs, they have over 2.5 million ratings making them a “source for up-to-date doctor ratings and reviews, the latest health trend coverage, and medical specialty information.”

Info for Patients

RateMDs lets people rate you on four areas: staff, punctuality, helpfulness, and knowledge. It then creates a single overall review rating, also using the 5-star system, based on them. The separate review ratings, each category and overall, are also aggregated to create five profile level ratings for you.

RateMDs provides information, reviews and ratings on everything from cleanliness of hospital and care center facilities, to physician knowledge, as well as giving patients the ability to share their own personal experiences.

RateMDs offers paid plans to doctors to give them greater control over what is displayed and what is not such as hiding reviews that they think are suspicious.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

To respond to any patient reviews on RateMDs, doctors must first claim their free profile. There are also paid subscriptions that give doctors more options.

With a claimed profile you have control over what’s displayed there, other than the reviews with extensive field options are including the ability to add publications, awards, affiliations, education and specialties. The “Biography” section allows you to add some freeform narrative about yourself and your practice and you can also add links to your social media profiles and website.

RateMDs has three plans:

  1. Free plan
  2. Promoted (Paid)
  3. Promoted Plus (Paid)

With a monthly subscription, you get additional functionality like a Ratings Monitor and Manager, which email you with the review whenever a new one goes up and lets you hide up to three reviews.

The paid plans also make sure your own profile is banner free, while giving you varying options to put your own banner up on competitor profiles. The paid plans also let you upload more photos than just a profile photo and to enable appointment requests be made directly from the RateMDs website. Your practice would receive the appointment request via email, and then you can respond directly back to the prospective patient.

Vitals

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 4

Founded

2007, headquarted in Lyndhurst, New Jersey

Traffic

Vitals.com Averages between 2 million to 3 million visits per month (Similarweb.com) and Vitals claims that they have 10,000 doctor reviews uploaded each month.

Info for Patients

You can search for experienced doctor who meet your needs, compare costs for procedures and appointments and read patient ratings and reviews. You can even earn cash incentives when you shop and save on your health care.

With data on cost, quality and availability of provider options, we help consumers find high-quality, cost-effective health care.

In addition to being a health provider and medical facility search service, the site provides content on preparing for a doctor visit and has scheduling tools for patients to book appointments with doctors online.

 

  • Photo: Having a photo uploaded is always better than not.
  • Star rating: Shows your overall star rating (5-star scale) and the number of comment reviews you have. As always, encourage patients to provide reviews. All of Vitals award badges are based on patient reviews, so they’re vital (hehe) to getting the extra validation juice on your profile.
  • Patient Choice Award (and 5th Year Anniversary Patients Choice): Of Vital’s six different awards, only these two show up in your mini-profile on the search results page. To earn a Patient’s Choice award, you need to be rated as consistently providing excellent patient care, as reflected in your reviews. To get the 5-year award, you must have a near perfect rating for five consecutive years. Another reason to encourage patients upload reviews.
  • Degrees, specialty, practice address, and years of experience: If you haven’t updated your profile, Vitals gets this information from a variety of other sources, which mean it may or may not be accurate. For example, the mini-profile will display a FAAOS (Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) right next to your MD initials, if the site knows about it applies to you.


Vitals doesn’t share its search results algorithm, but where you land in the search results seems to be a mix of geographic proximity, years of experience, and star rating.
One of the founders, Mitch Rothschild, claims that the inspiration behind the idea to create Vitals was based on the frustrations he experienced trying to locate a surgeon to operate on his knee.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

There are two things Vitals medical provider search site really likes: data and awards. It uses both to distinguish itself from other medical practice search and review sites. Vitals analyzes these reviews both as basis for giving doctors various award badges that display at the top of their profile, and to offer some interesting guidance on what words show up most often in patient reviews.

The first point to understand about Vitals search results page is that the first spot can be bought (or “sponsored”). Not every search will have a sponsored top spot, only if a doctor has purchased a sponsorship. According to Vitals website, having a sponsored spot provides a 7.5x boost in patient conversion rate after three months.`

These are the main elements of your Vitals profile that you can control:

  • Photo
  • Star Rating
  • Patient Choice Awards
  • Degrees
  • Specialties, Languages Spoken
  • Practice Address, Insurances Accepted
  • Years of Experience

In addition to these elements there are two places you can personalize your full profile:

1. Personal Statement: This area allows you to write a positioning statement that presents your practice’s most important patient care message.

2. Video Profile: Vitals allows you to upload a video profile which can be a real differentiator.

ZocDoc

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 5

Founded

2007, headquartered in New York City, New York.

Traffic

ZocDoc.com averages over 6 million visitors per month (Similarweb.com) and ZocDoc boasts that doctors average around 40 reviews after one year on their website.

Info for Patients

ZocDoc is a full-fledged marketing/sales, appointment booking SaaS that integrates with your project management system to allow for real time, online booking through the ZocDoc site.

Currently, Zocdoc serves more than 40% of the US population, across 2,000+ cities. We’re continually expanding our service to new cities and towns according to patient demand. Booking appointments with Zocdoc is 100 percent free for patients! We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the care you need.

Only doctors who pass our rigorous qualification process can join Zocdoc. Doctors must be licensed nationally and at the state level, be in good standing with their state medical boards, and meet a number of other guidelines. Finally, doctors who join must hold up their agreement with Zocdoc – and we work hard to make sure they provide a great experience for patients like you!

The ZocDoc app advertises:

  • Find nearby doctors in your network
  • Browse real patient reviews
  • Book appointments with a tap

 

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

ZocDoc’s main function for doctors and healthcare practices is getting patient appointments scheduled. ZocDoc is a full-fledged marketing/sales, appointment booking SaaS that integrates with your project management system to allow for real time, online booking through the ZocDoc site.

Review functionality is included to allow valuable patient feedback to help your scheduling efforts however, you must buy a subscription to have a profile on ZocDoc. In return you receive backend functionality in addition to real-time appointment setting such as having a secure electronic delivery system so patients can fill out paperwork online and automated appointment reminders.

Since ZocDoc only serves a geographic area of about 40% of the U.S., you must be in a region served by ZocDoc and be licensed on both state and national levels and be in good standing with state medical boards. If you meet ZocDoc standards you can expect that 95% of patients that schedule through ZocDoc are either commercially insured or self-pay.

ZocDoc’s subscription service also provides you with an in-house team to counsel you on optimizing your profile, a mobile app, and separate personal and practice profiles.

MD.com

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 6

Founded

2013, headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Traffic

MD.com averages over 200,000 visitors per month (Similarweb.com) and the MD.com search engine is comprised over more than 880,000 doctors.

Info for Patients

A consumer will find the typical doctor search options on the MD.com homepage:

  • Name
  • Specialty
  • Geographic Location
  • Insurance Accepted

Online appointments are available from 100,000 of MD.com listed doctors, and some offer virtual visits through a secure video call.

While MD.com doesn’t have nearly as many reviews or monthly visitors as the others, I wanted to mention our relatively unique workflow for doctor reviews: Patients can select from nine “review tags” (On-time, Friendly, etc.), provide a written review (minimum 150 chars), and are asked if they would/would not recommend the doctor – we don’t ask for a 1-10 rating. We use the would / would not recommend to calculate and mark up the aggregate ratings which are included as rich results in Google SERPs. We’ve even found that some of our doctors with published reviews are included in the Knowledge Panel under “Reviews from the web” when searching for those doctors (example).

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

MD.com doesn’t just want to provide a service for consumers to find a doctor. It wants to be your patients’ healthcare provider CRM and even offers the potential for receiving telehealth services from your doctor through its secure video function.

Like many other medical practice review sites, you may well have a profile even if you haven’t claimed it. MD.com collects information about your specialties, education and hospital affiliations. The top of your profile may have your image, as well your specialty, years experience, and practice name and address.

When you claim your profile, you’ll also get an MD.com domain (e.g. yourname.md.com) and a link to the third party online scheduling tool. While you can maintain a free profile, MD.com earns its money by providing you with a variety of premium services.

MD.com’s most comprehensive premium service is their Telemedicine package, which includes all the other premium services offered within it, as well as the video consult function.

You can pay a fee to become a “Featured Doctor,” which removes the paid ads from your profile and improves your placement in results lists. If you want assistance creating and branding your profile, MD.com will provide these services as well. MD.com continues their emphasis on video by providing a place on a doctor’s branded site to embed all of your practice’s YouTube videos.

CareDash

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 7

Founded

2015, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Traffic

CareDash averages 100,000 visitors per month (Similarweb.com) with hospitals and practices listed for every state and major city.

Info for Patients

CareDash is one the world’s leading providers of healthcare reviews. We are redefining the healthcare review industry as an online resource offering comprehensive, transparent information about physicians and hospitals. CareDash empowers all patients — regardless of their socio-economic status — to find trusted healthcare providers through an easy-to-use, 100% honest review website focused on hospital and provider experience, quality and satisfaction.

Provider ratings and patient reviews on CareDash make it easy to make informed decisions about your health. Search for doctors by name, specialty or location, then review a list of providers who meet your search criteria.

Unlike other review sites, CareDash will never suppress or remove an authentic negative review. While you may notice on other review sites that your negative review of a doctor is hidden or eliminated entirely, CareDash does not accept payment from doctors for the removal or editing of reviews. This means that your honest feedback about your healthcare providers will live on the site to ensure that other patients have as much truthful information as possible when making a decision about their healthcare providers.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

CareDash CEO and founder Ted Chan says that CareDash is focused on serving low-income people, who often struggle to access health care and to find quality healthcare providers who will see them.

This is in contrast to many other doctor review sites that target high-income patients and ignore Medicaid patients.

CareDash is more focused on what patients have to say about you, rather than what you have to say about yourself, so the provider profile is more limited than some other sites. The basic profile page has place for an image, and provides the basic contact and geographic information. It also includes a short narrative paragraph that may mention your specialty, education and hospital affiliations. The bulk of the center of a profile page is the provider’s overall star rating, presentation of current reviews, and a big form where patients can post their own reviews.

CareDash is currently developing a mobile app that will provide additional functionality to users such as scheduling appointments with providers.

CareDash is a good resource for practices that want Medicaid-covered patients or who want to attract a portion of low income patients as part of a giving-back program.

Google My Business

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 8

Founded

2014, headquartered in Mountain View, California

Traffic

Infinite. In all seriousness, Google gets several billion searches per day and Google My Business listings are embedded in the search engine results page.

Info for Patients

Google My Business (GMB) is another review site that’s not dedicated to medical practices. But so what – it’s Google. Registering with GMB is how you optimize your practice getting found in those critical local searches. According to Google’s research, businesses that maintain a full profile on GMB get 5x the views than those that haven’t claimed their profile.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Practices

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.

Manage how your business information appears across Google, including Search and Maps, using Google My Business—for free.

Interact with customers new and old and tell them the story of your business.

Read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do. Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.

See insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from. You can also see information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps. And when you’re ready, seamlessly create and track the performance of AdWords Express campaigns to spread the word about your work.

Registering with GMB doesn’t just help your practice when people search specifically for your practice. It also provides you a boost in local keyword searches. Google’s entire mantra is providing searchers with the most accurate, authoritative, actionable information it can.

WebMD

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 9

Founded

  1. Headquartered in New York City, New York.

Traffic

WebMD averages 140 million visits per month (SimilarWeb.com).

Info for Patients

While WebMD may not appear to be an active directory from doctors’ perspective, it is still a review site. It doesn’t get the engagement that a site like ZocDoc gets. But its parent site gets a lot of traffic, and is a highly trusted source for people looking for information about their health and medical conditions.

Patients can review you now, regardless of whether you’ve claimed your profile. Like other review sites, WebMD lets patients give you an overall rating (based on 5-star scale), and rate you specifically on how well you

  • Explains conditions & treatments
  • Takes time to answer my questions
  • Provides follow-up as needed

The results page from a search shows only the doctor’s name, location, and overall rating. If you can get even just a few patients to provide positive reviews on this site, your profile will show up like a lighthouse on the results page.

In addition to the physician directory there are also directories for hospitals, pharmacies, and insurance. The physician directory lets you search  by specialty, conditions, and by procedures.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

There are some quick and easy wins for doctors who want to claim their WebMD profile. On its own, it might not be positioned (right now) to generate huge streams of new patients, but there is potential. It’s also a high authority site where you can create backlinks to your practice website, which is helps your SEO.

Doximity

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 10

Founded

2011, Headquartered in San Francisco.

Traffic

Doximity averages 1.8 million visitors per month (via Similarweb.com) and has over 70% of US doctors as verified members.

Info for Patients

Doximity has a large amount of traffic but it’s not typically a website that prospective patients use to find doctors. Doctor profiles contain:

  • Clinical specialties and interests
  • Faculty appointments and work history
  • Education and training
  • Certification and licensure
  • Awards, honors and recognition
  • Clinical Trials
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Grant support
  • Research history
  • Committees
  • Professional Memberships
  • Other languages
  • Hospital affiliations
  • ACO/IPA affiliations
  • Insurance accepted

Much of this information wouldn’t be of interest to the average patient, as it’s more vital for a doctor who is looking for a consult on a difficult case. Patients can’t search on the Doximity site for a provider, although the link may come up in an Internet search on a doctor’s name. As a non-member of the site, patients will see a modified, compact version of doctor profiles.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

Doximity is like LinkedIn for medical professionals. It provides additional functionality that’s uniquely valuable for people in the medical professions, and has a strong focus on connecting providers with each other. A big part of its social networking is geared towards making it easier to consult with doctors and other health providers and iimproving your brand with other doctors to increase referrals. Doximity provides marketing services for hospitals to grow their referral networks among Doximity’s membership.

The site has three main functional categories:

  1. Social networking with other medical professionals
  2. Professional and career development
  3. Secure clinical communications

Doximity has a mobile-first user experience with claims that 70% of their activity is on mobile devices, 85% of their doctors using iPhones, and there are several Doximity apps available for download.

Yelp

The Best Doctor Review Sites for Patients 11

Founded

2004, headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Traffic

Yelp averages 150 million visitors per month (via Similarweb.com) with a user community that’s mostly active in larger population centers.

Info for Patients

Yelp isn’t purely a medical review site, but a general business review directory. Not being a strictly medical review site makes Yelp different from some of the other options. More than half of Yelp usage is done on mobile, not desktop, including 75% of its searches so patients will enjoy a good mobile user experience. When performing a Google search, many users will see a Yelp profile link before they see the direct website link for a doctor. However, most of the medical profiles on Yelp are for a medical practice, not a specific doctor because Yelp is a business review site, not a professional review site.

Info for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

Yelp is squarely focused on what your patients have to say about you, not what you want to say about yourself. you can make sure the logistical information is accurate, like phone number and hours of operations.

It also allows you to add some substantive information like your practice specialties, bio of the owner, and history of the business. And because most of Yelp’s users are mobile, they will expect to comfortably read and navigate your practice site on mobile. To prevent losing out on getting Yelp referrals, a doctor or practice website should have mobile functions, like “click to call” on their mobile website. Doctors will need to claim their business on Yelp in order to be able to respond to reviews or challenge them.

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Garrett Smith
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