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Research Letter
February 19, 2014

Public Awareness, Perception, and Use of Online Physician Rating Sites

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 2School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor
  • 4Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2014;311(7):734-735. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.283194

Patients are increasingly turning to online physician ratings, just as they have sought ratings for other products and services. Much of what is known about these sites comes from studies of the ratings left on them.1 Little is known about the public’s awareness and use of online physician ratings, and whether these sites influence decisions about selecting a physician.

In September 2012, we surveyed a nationally representative sample of the US population about their knowledge and use of online ratings for selecting a physician for themselves. The survey used the Internet-based KnowledgePanel (GfK Custom Research North America). Internet-connected computers were provided at no cost to those without access. Pilot testing of the survey was conducted on a separate convenience sample to ensure validity of the questions.