Online Ratings of ASOPRS Surgeons: What Do Your Patients Really Think of You?

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Abstract

Purpose:

To characterize patient evaluations of American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) surgeons on a popular online physician rating website in an effort to determine which factors play a role in determining the likelihood of a patient recommending an ASOPRS surgeon to family and friends.

Methods:

After obtaining approval and access from Healthgrades.com, the website database was searched for 612 U.S.-based ASOPRS members using their name as published on http://www.asoprs.org/ as of May 2015. For each surgeon, the total number of ratings and average ratings were recorded under each category. The evaluator recommendation, defined as the response to the questions of “likelihood of recommending Dr. X to family and friends,” constituted the main outcome measure. Variables from each surgeon were compared using unpaired t tests, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05. Correlations were analyzed using Spearman correlation (rs), with coefficients of greater than or equal to 0.40 or less than or equal to −0.40 considered significant.

Results:

Five-hundred nineteen members (85%) had at least 1 rating while 222 members (36%) had 10 or more ratings. The mean number of ratings for all rated members was 11.4 (range, 1–77; standard deviation [SD] = 11.1) and mean evaluator recommendation score was 4.16 (range, 1–5; SD = 0.79). There was a strong negative correlation between total wait time and evaluator recommendation score (rs = −0.409, p < 0.001). The average number of ratings and rating scores for all categories were not significantly different when comparing male with female members. University-employed members had significantly fewer ratings (8.46; range, 1–52; SD = 9.3) compared with other members (11.9; range, 1–77; SD = 11.3) (p < 0.016). There were no differences in any other rating score when comparing those university-employed members with other members.

Conclusion:

Online patient-reported evaluations of ASOPRS surgeons appear high in many categories. Long wait times correlate strongly with lower recommendation scores. Further study is required to determine how online patient reviews correlate to objective outcome measures, and how these reviews affect surgeon selection by patients.

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