Patient satisfaction ratings are increasingly used for hospital rankings, referral base and physician reimbursement. As such, online physician rating websites (PRWs) are quickly becoming a topic of interest.

To analyze the distribution of neurosurgeons' ratings on the 3 most widely used PRWs, and examine factors associated with positive and negative ratings. METHODS:

We used a key term search to identify board-certified neurosurgeons on 3 widely used PRWs:,, and Data were collected on average rating and number of ratings. Demographic, training-related and practice-related data, as well as location of practice, and place of training were also collected. RESULTS:

Data was non-normally distributed (P < .001 for all 3). Having fewer reviews was associated with higher variance in ratings between PRWs for a given surgeon (odds ratio 0.99, P = .001). All surgeons below the 25th percentile with respect to the number of reviews that had been written about them were eliminated. Of the remaining surgeons (n = 3054), the median composite score was 4.11 out of 5, interquartile range (3.69, 4.44). Surgeons had higher median modified composite scores if they were fellowship-trained (P = .0001) or graduated from a top 25 medical school (P = .0117), but not if they graduated from a top 25 residency (P = .1056). Surgeons located in major cities had higher median composite scores (P = .0025). CONCLUSION:

Online ratings for neurosurgeons must be evaluated in context. Median ratings are generally high, but variable between websites. Median scores also vary among regions and practice settings. Higher scores were associated with ranking of medical school, recent graduation, and fellowship training completion 1).

Five websites were selected through a Google search for RTP after concussion, including a federal government institution (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website, a national high school association (National Federation of State High School Associations) website, a popular nationally recognized medical website for patients (WebMD), a popular parent-driven website for parents of children who participate in sports (MomsTeam), and the website of a private concussion clinic (Sports Concussion Institute), along with a university hospital website (University of Michigan Medicine). Eight specific items from the Zurich Sport Concussion Consensus Statement 2012 were used as the gold standard for RTP recommendations. Three independent reviewers graded each website for each of the 8 recommendations (A = states guideline recommendations appropriately; B = mentions guideline recommendation; C = does not mention guideline recommendation; F = makes inappropriate recommendation). RESULTS A grade of A was assigned for 45.8% of the recommendations, B for 25.0%, C for 25.0%, and F for 4.2%. All the websites were assigned an A grade for the recommendation of no RTP on the day of injury. Only 1 website (WebMD) mentioned medication usage in conjunction with the Zurich statement, and only 2 websites (Sports Concussion Institute and University of Michigan Medicine) mentioned appropriate management of persistent symptoms. None of these websites commented correctly on all 8 guideline recommendations. CONCLUSIONS Online resources are inconsistent in relaying guideline recommendations for RTP and provide a potential source of confusion in the management of concussion for athletes and their parents, which can result in inappropriate RTP decisions.

Cloney M, Hopkins B, Shlobin N, Dahdaleh NS. Online Ratings of Neurosurgeons: An Examination of Web Data and its Implications. Neurosurgery. 2018 Apr 3. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyy064. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29618127.
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  • Last modified: 2018/11/24 18:58
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