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Tips for Responding to Negative Online Reviews

Monday, February 10, 2020  
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The following article appeared on February 6, 2020 in Psychiatric News, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association

Ethics Document: Confidentiality Key in Responding to Reviews
Mark Moran

In the age of the internet, everyone and everything are fair game for criticism: log onto Yelp or a similar online review portal, and you are likely to see that your favorite hotel, restaurant, or landscaping service has at least one scorching bad review, along with the glowing ones.

Physicians, including psychiatrists, are no exception, and any number of websites—such as HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com, or RateMD.com—provide patients a venue for rating their doctors. Any physician, especially one with a large caseload, is liable to run across at least one bad review.

“It’s a common concern,” said Charles Dike, M.D., vice chair of the APA Committee on Ethics and associate professor of psychiatry in the law and psychiatry division at Yale University. “People are aware of these rating venues, and even physicians who have never felt themselves victimized by a bad review worry about it.”

But responding to bad online reviews can be especially tricky for psychiatrists, who have a bedrock ethical commitment to patient confidentiality. A new resource document published by the APA Committee on Ethics seeks to provide some guidelines for when and how to respond to negative reviews and—perhaps more importantly—when not to respond. Read full article.

Download APA's Resource Document on Responding to Negative Online Reviews