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Patients' Online Perception and Ratings of Neurotologists.



To assess and characterize patients' online ratings and comments of neurotologists and determine factors that correlate with higher ratings.


All the American Neurotology Society members were queried on Healthgrades, Vitals, RateMDs, Yelp, and Google from March to June 2018. All ratings were normalized for comparison on a five-point Likert scale. All comments were categorized based on context and for positive/negative aspect.


Of the 560 American Neurotology Society members, 465 (83%) were rated on at least one online platform. Of those rated, 420 (90%) were on Healthgrades, 392 (84%) on Vitals, 283 (61%) on RateMDs, 232 (50%) on Google, and 56 (12%) on Yelp. Across all platforms, the average overall rating was 4.06 ± 0.68 (range: 1.00-5.00). There were significant positive correlations between overall rating and specific ratings (p < 0.01) on individual topics. Moreover, categorizing 5,317 narrative comments elicited the majority to be related to perceived physician bedside manner and clinical outcome. Although the number of positive comments outnumbered the negative ones, only the negative comments correlated (negatively) with the overall score (p < 0.01). Attending a top 25- or 50-medical schools or residency programs did not correlate with their rating.


Online ratings and comments for neurotologists are highly dependent on patient perceptions of physician competence, caring bedside manner, and office management. Minimizing the number of negative comments, especially regarding perceived physicians' professionalism and communication, clinical outcome, bedside manners, and office management, leads to higher calculated overall scores and online perception.

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