One of the first posts on this blog that got wider attention was in March 2009: RateMDs.com: Medical Justice’s approach is “repulsive”:

…a company called Medical Justice wants to help doctors avoid consumer ratings, by getting patients to sign an agreement saying all their conversations arethe doctor’s property, trade secrets, so the patient isn’t allowed to tell anyone what the doctor said.

How disempowering is that?

We cited an AP piece that says if a doctor uses Medical Justice, then MJ will force doctor-ratings sites to remove any negative ratings a patient has given. “Good luck with that,” we said, because on a site like RateMDs.com, ratings are anonymous. On ZDNet, Dana Blankenhorn quoted our view: an “almost comical attempt to hold back the tide” of social media.

Well, this morning SPM loyalist Myrna Morales forwarded this link: Doctors and dentists tell patients, “all your review are belong to us”. (It’s a play on the video game phrase “All your base are belong to us” that went viral ten years ago.)

The guy picked this dentist, Dr. Cirka, because he’s one of Yelp’s highest rated in Philadelphia. Might this have anything to do with Medical Justice forcing Yelp to remove negative reviews?

If you use online ratings sites, be careful where you get them. Personally I don’t give a shred of attention to anonymous ratings – they could be shills, friends or enemies of the vendor. Online ratings are like any other source: they’re just one input, so don’t assume they’re perfect.

And if you want my advice, don’t go near providers who ask you to sign something saying the visit is their property. My view is that it’s your health, your body, and services that you bought.

It’s fine with me if others disagree, but I urge people to stand up for themselves.

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