Dear Kim, I Am Indifferent To My Online Reputation

The skeptical cardiologist keeps getting  emails from Kimberly of who informs him how important his online reputation is. The last email has quite an urgent, almost threatening tone: Kim reminds me of the multiple previous attempts to contact me and asks me if there is someone else in my practice she could speak with.
According to Kimberly, my online reputation “has become the primary way that patients, colleagues, referring practitioners, and even your friends  will come to learn about you.”
Kimberly informs me that her assessment “includes your online reputation score (A-F) scoring), the total number of reviews found about your practice online (some of which you may not be aware of) and your calculated current Reputation Danger Level™ (In Danger, At Risk or Protected).”
She has a really slick website:
Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 12.41.36 PM.
However, I have no interest in checking my online reviews nor do I care what my Reputation Danger Level is.
If I were just starting a practice or fighting for new patients I might view this differently and consider engaging in such folderol.
However, at this point in my career, I am really only concerned with having positive interactions with the patients I have and helping them achieve optimal health as best I can. I get more than enough new patients by word of mouth from my current patients, their relatives, and from referring physicians who respect my patient care skills.
Also, I have a feeling that the majority of patients who take the time to write online assessments are disgruntled about something and want to tell the world. I’m not really interested in coming across a review of me that is totally unfair. It would only give me unnecessary stress.
I’m sure there are ways to expunge the negative reviews, likewise there are bound to be effective ways to ramp up the positive reviews. For positive reviews, for example, I could just ask the patients I know who really like my care and style to post something online. I don’t do that: it makes me uncomfortable.
But this just doesn’t seem right. If my online reputation can be manipulated by me or by myonlinereputation or their ilk, it would seem to further delegitimize the whole process.
Kimberly, if you happen to read this, please accept my apologies for not accepting your complementary (normally $249)  analysis.
And please stop sending me emails.
Disreputably Yours,


7 thoughts on “Dear Kim, I Am Indifferent To My Online Reputation”

  1. This calls to mind the issue of physician advertising. Being proactive, if you will. The problems with that are just as obvious.
    But, how is the patient in need going to decide which doc to hire? Trial and error is OK for treating my Corolla. Treating my coronaries is a different story.
    How to gauge whom to trust??
    Skeptical lays it all out there. Rare.

    • Yes. I consider it akin to lifting up a rock in a damp forest and peering beneath it: something beautiful might be there but more likely something disgusting and creepy. Best to continue blithely ambling through the trees.

  2. Bravo for telling her to take a hike! What people like her will do to flip a buck and then get pissy when people don’t fall for their bait. She’s an honor roll student of Narcissistic 101.

  3. I take pride in how bad my online reputation is with the wellness industry, just the way people took pride in being on Nixon’s enemies list.
    You know who else made a lot of enemies? Mona Hanna-Atisha. If that name doesn’t ring a bell it’s either because I misspelled it or you haven’t been reading the news: she was the pediatrician in Flint who first took on the establishment by insisting that the water was poisoned.
    PS Nice use of the word “folderol.” Haven’t seen that in print since I memorized some of the words in the Barrons SAT Prep guide before I gave up. Good thing I made it through the F’s.

    • Folderol just came to me to describe this solicitation-had to double check to make sure it was appropriate since it’s been some time since I had encountered it.
      As of your comment, I am aware of Mona. Good for her.


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