Factors Affecting Orthopedic Sports Medicine Surgeons' Online Reputation

Tyler R Heimdal, Stephanie S Gardner, Ujalashah M Dhanani, Joshua D Harris, Shari R Liberman, Patrick C McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physician rating websites (PRWs) rate physicians based on experiences of previous patients. Although a high rating is desirable, it may not correlate with quality of care, experience, or other physician-specific variables. This study examined the impact of physician-specific variables, such as American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Sports Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) status, years in practice, sex, and geographic location, on the PRW patient satisfaction rating and number of ratings. A list of orthopedic sports medicine surgeons was obtained from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine database. Demographic data were recorded. Surgeon profiles were gathered from the most commonly used PRWs (Healthgrades and Vitals), and a mean rating value was recorded on a 1- to 5-star scale. The t test and analysis of variance were used for comparisons. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify factors contributing to PRW ratings. Female sex had the biggest positive effect on PRW rating (R=0.04, P=.029). The PRW rating was positively affected by the number of ratings (R=0.04, P<.001) and negatively affected by an increase in years of practice (R=0.04, P<.001). Surgeons with fewer than 10 years in practice had higher PRW ratings than surgeons practicing longer than 10 years. The PRW ratings were not affected by sports CAQ status or geographic location. Fewer years in practice, female sex, and greater number of reviews were associated with higher PRW ratings. Number of reviews was the only modifiable factor. There was no observed association between sports medicine CAQ status and PRW rating. [Orthopedics. 2021;44(x):xx-xx.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
StateE-pub ahead of print - Dec 14 2020


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