How to Learn About Doctors Online – Even When They Don’t Want You to

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It’s easier to find information about the iPhone 5 – which hasn’t even been made yet – than it is to research a doctor online.

As regular Money Talks News readers know, we advocate saving time and money by researching as much as you can online before parting with your cash – whether it’s women buying makeup or men shopping for tuxedos.

But backgrounding a doctor before you make an appointment? The prognosis is grim.

A recent patient care study, conducted by Harris and released by Insider Pages, found that most of us are frustrated by the lack of information about doctors that’s available online…

“While the online ratings and reviews category has seen explosive growth in recent years across a number of categories such as consumer electronics, healthcare has lagged far behind, and consumers have more or less settled for what they can find out about their doctors from health insurance websites.”

The study, which polled more than 2,000 adults, also found that…

  • Over two-fifths (42 percent) of adults agree they spent more time researching the latest electronic gadget than their primary care doctor.
  • Almost one-half (49 percent) say they spent more time researching a gift for a family member or friend than researching their primary care doctor.
  • Two-thirds (67 percent) of adults wish they could find more comprehensive information about doctors online.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of adults with a PCP agree they chose their doctor primarily on location and not information about the physician’s expertise, malpractice record or online reviews.

The study doesn’t explain why doctors are so web-shy, but if you’re looking for a new doctor or are among the 42 percent of adults who are worried that they will be required to change doctors as a result of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, check out…

  • Insider Pages’s new Doctor Finder, which “contains comprehensive data and patient ratings and reviews on over two million doctors and one million complementary/alternative medicine providers like physical therapists, nurse practitioners and chiropractors.”
  • Our 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Doctor article.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to know a website I can go to to check out the doctors. Janice

  • Anonymous

    This article’s creditbility is so suspect that the local LOCK DOCTOR was given a 5 star rating in your DOCTOR FINDER. Unbelievable, another article for the sake of pumping out articles!

  • Mickey

    The Insider Pages Doctor Finder should be taken with a big grain of salt. My PCP is so outstanding everyone in my extended family now sees him after my sister-in-law discovered him several years ago. My sister, a John Hopkins Hospital research nurse, calls him “Sent from God.” Yet he only gets 4 stars on that site. I’m a master chemist who minored in biology and he explains to me, at a college upper-classman level, the nature of illnesses and the biochemical pathways of medications, often drawing charts, graphs, and reaction equations all over the tissue paper covering the examining bench. He clearly knows his stuff. He explains the pros and cons of the various treatment options when more than one is available and why he likes one the best. Etc. Etc. He recently started dating a woman from out of state and we’re all worried he’ll decide to move. THAT is a great doctor, but you wouldn’t see him if you went by 5 stars alone.