Background: Patients continue to utilize physician review websites (PRWs) to assist in their selection of a health care provider. Studies on PRWs and how they affect patient care have recently become popular in the literature. This study analyzes PRW ratings of a previously unexamined subspecialty, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons.
Methods: Three hundred ninety-nine randomly selected Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America member's PRW ratings were examined from May 4, 2020 to July 18, 2020. Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com, RateMDs.com, and Google.com were reviewed. Number of ratings and average ratings (0 to 5.0) were recorded. Provider sex, years in practice (0 to 10, 11 to 20, and 21+), practice type (academic, private), geographic location (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West), degree (Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), and fellowship training (yes, no) were recorded. Kruskal-Wallis testing was performed to determine factors affecting positive surgeon ratings.
Results: 98.5% (393) of Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America surgeons were rated on a PRW at least once and were highly rated with an average rating of 4.14 of 5.0. Surgeons in practice 1 to 10 years had higher ratings than those in practice 11 to 20 and 21+ years, on Healthgrades.com (P=0.049) and RateMDs.com (P=0.011). Academic surgeons were found to have higher ratings than those in private practice on Google.com (P=0.007). Sex, region of practice, degree type, and fellowship training status did not have an effect on online ratings across all PRWs.
Conclusions: Pediatric orthopaedic surgeons are frequently and highly rated, similar to other orthopaedic subspecialties. Surgeons in practice 1 to 10 years were found to have statistically higher ratings on some websites. Academic surgeons were found to have statistically higher ratings on some websites.
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