Naming, blaming, shaming, and rating doctors online
As doctors we have to accept that, despite trying our best, sometimes we are unable to save patients’ lives. In some instances the grieving family of the patient will channel their anger and blame towards us. Relatives might physically assault or verbally abuse a doctor, or they might vent their opinions on the internet, causing permanent damage to a doctor’s reputation.
Before starting a placement in the United States, I “googled” the doctor I would be working with. I found that the top 10 Google search results were from rating websites that gave this doctor an average score of two out of five. The comments included abuse and some serious allegations.
The doctor concerned had read these offensive comments and written an angry email to the webmaster of one site asking for them to be removed. The webmaster increased the doctor’s public humiliation by publishing their private email exchanges.