In my previous post I discussed the advantages of negative feedback. I explained why companies should embrace and react to what customers say about them and turn it around into something positive. Well yesterday I came across a news article in the Daily News Record about physicians doing the complete opposite which resulted in losing the respect and trust of their patients.

When someone is looking for a physician, he or she will ask friends, family and neighbors who they would recommend. In other cases, people choose to search online for ratings and recommendations of doctors in their area. This is because customers tend to trust other customers’ opinions. In the article, Doctors Pay Company for Waiver Agreement, some doctors complained about negative comments that were said about them and their practice on the internet.

Dr. Jeffrey Segal from North Carolina thinks that these negative comments will ruin a doctor’s reputation and that they should be deleted from the web. Many of the comments posted about the doctors can be found on RateMDs.com. This website allows people to search for doctors in their area as well as post comments and rate the doctors they have been to. A quote that was in the article stated a comment about a doctor on RateMDs which said, “Very unhelpful, arro­gant, did not listen and cut me off, seemed much too happy to have power (and abuse it!) over suffer­ing people.” According to Segal this comment is horrific and has no relevance to rating a doctor. I believe quite the contrary. No one wants a doctor who is unhelpful and arrogant. This could affect the way the physician tends to you as a patient and you will receive unhappy results.

Doctors like Segal have been asking their patients to sign waivers stating that he or she agrees to not post comments about the doctor on the internet. If the doctor finds comments on a site such as RateMDs, they have asked the site to take off the comments because of the waivers patients have signed. Thankfully, the cofounder of RateMDs, John Swapceinski, is refusing to take off comments despite the waiver. He says it goes against people’s rights and is “repulsive.”

If only the doctors embraced the negativity. Obviously something is wrong with the way they do business if they are getting criticism. People will and should write what the feel and think about these doctors. Everyone has a right to know if something like malpractice is going on or merely if the doctor is a rude and negligent man.

In the video below, Jim Davis, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer of SAS talks to Mark Ragan, the CEO of Ragan Communications about what to do when companies receive negative comments on blogs and websites. This would have been helpful information for Segal and the other doctors on what they should have done and how they should have handled the negative feedback they received.

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