Doctors Just Don't Like Second Opinions (Or First Ones)

For better or worse, the rising presence of the internet has obviously allowed the common person to express their opinions on any topic. No longer does one need to be a paid “expert” to rattle on about the merits of music, movies, politics, or any other subject that garners a reaction.
Sometimes these opinions are found on sites that have nothing to do with the subject. Message boards for all subjects thrive on off-topic forums; music blogs may include posts on politics, and vice versa. Further input exists as replies to these posts…at least on those sites where the owner has the balls to allow opposing viewpoints. The only drawback is one tends to attract trolls who will argue that the sky is green if the site owner states that it’s blue. (Hi Kurt! I’m kidding, my friend.)
But even mainstream sites allow for visitor input. For example, Amazon allows anybody to review any of their products, which can make for good reading on a boring night. Yelp’s very existence is to create a database of restaurant reviews. Rotten Tomatoes compiles the reviews of people all over the world into a score that better evaluates individual movies than the publicity-driven reviews in most mainstream publications.
To me, this is all fantastic - the more opinions the better. Yet many are not happy by these developments. One of the more disappointing traits of my favorite satellite radio program is their reaction to even the most minor criticisms. Many a show has been wasted on bitching about “faceless people behind a keyboard”.
With that in mind, you can imagine my laughter when I picked up yesterday’s Argus Leader and read this headline - Doctors pan online reviews as criticism without rebuttal ( Apparently, there’s a website ( where people can review local doctors on a number of different categories. Oh, the indignity of having customers actually voicing their opinions!
Even those who received high scores are quoted in the article as being hurt by this site. Dr. Kimberly McKay, who has a perfect score on the site, complained that “it hurts my feelings” that more than one patient stated she pushed stomach surgery on them.
This entire article is just crazy talk. If we can review food, movies, television, concerts, albums, electronics, and everything else, why can’t we do the same for the very people who hold the keys for our very survival? I know the fine folks at Sanford and Avera want us to believe that every employee is a perfect practitioner, but anybody with a brain knows this to be untrue. Since our local media refuses to report anything but glowing stories on these two institutions, it is up to a grass roots campaign to spread the real truth about what goes on inside those ever-expanding walls.


Anonymous said…
The real miracle here is two blogs sans computer. You are god-like! I find it hard to feel sorry for any doctor who's feelings are hurt by someone sharing their honest opinion of that doctor's service. PLEASE! Maybe we should see how doctor's patients perform on some sort of standardized test post-treatment and evaluate them THAT way. No patient left behind, right?
Anonymous said…
I think we (me) typed some viewpoints related to this issue a few months ago. The thesis being that corporate industry doesn't really have a desire to answer to anyone anymore, and that the corporate whore press won't risk ad dollars to investigate their prime customers.
It's also what I hear on TV about big corporations that ask for bail outs and answer to no one, that scares me also.
So now the little guy on the internet has all the power. I found this to be true while I still warn internet consumers about an insurance company I use to work for, and their business practices that I exposed. One critic suggested that people like me should be black balled from ever getting a job again, since I exposed bad business practices from an insurance giant. It's getting harder to protect the innocent or ourselves.

Kurt the Troll

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