Many patients research their caregivers, be that physicians, physiotherapists or other regulated and unregulated professionals, online. Professional services has to some extent been 'commoditized' by the internet, and especially, social media.
People do not only want to do an internet 'deep dive' on reviews for general commodities they are interested in (a new car perhaps, or a new fridge), but now also personal services, and especially medical services.
Quick to see a business opportunity, numerous websites have appeared 'rating' professionals, according to anonymous 'reviews'. As in everything to do with the internet and especially social media however, it really is 'buyer beware'. The highest rated surgeon might have a great bedside manner, but be a total hack with a scalpel. (Those of you who have not heard of 'Doctor Death', it is a scary real life story illustrating this very well).
Sometimes tough love - (the honest truth) - is the best medicine, but naturally, people might not appreciate it at the time, or ever. It seems that in today's world, many people believe anyone's opinion is equally valid, and as a result, true subject experts are increasingly considered just 'another opinion'. This is an increasingly dangerous path the world is on. However, back to the topic at hand; such might lead to bad reviews. I personally, after an unfortunate incident with exactly this situation, have not looked at any online 'reviews' of myself in fifteen years. I DO however take a very strong interest in legitimate, objective and scientific evaluations of myself and my practice, as perceived by colleagues, non-physician co-workers and patients. Just such a program is run by the Medical Council of Canada, and I just completed my most recent mandated review (all physicians are reviewed every few years). Although every one of us can improve, I am happy to report that I seem to be doing something right. This program helps physicians identify where they can improve, usually regarding communication and relationship issues. It is not designed to directly evaluate 'hard' competencies like surgical skill, although deficiencies in these areas will become apparent through the reviews of 'colleagues' and 'non-physician' coworkers, often nurses. I have always believed that if you want to choose a surgeon, ask a nurse who works with that surgeon. If she/he hesitates, run.
Back to testimonials: The problem with testimonials on a professional or practice website is not only that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta disallows it, but that you as a patient cannot possibly trust them. They are always biased (why would anyone willingly post negative testimonials on their website?), selected and possibly completely fake.
So, why do I not have testimonials on the PelvicFloor.com website? Well, you now know the answer.