How Fake News can Hurt Physicians and Patients

The internet is used for everything (medically) nowadays. Looking up symptoms, scheduling doctor appointments, and even looking at reviews of medical professionals. We’ve heard of people writing bad restaurant reviews for the craziest reasons. Unfortunately, these fake and irrational reviews can hurt medical professionals too.

One reason a physician could be given a “poor” review is because of their stance on vaccinations. Anit-vaccination groups have been known to “attack” medical professionals on multiple forms of social media. From what we have seen this past year from the worsening measles outbreak, maybe these groups should reconsider their stance. 

Another group that is known to aggravate the medical field is the National Rifle Association. After all the mass shootings going on in recent years, a lot of medical professionals have stated their opinions on gun laws. The NRA took to twitter stating:

“Stay in your lane.” 

However, a more recent law coming into fruition has caused a significant controversy in the United States. The new abortion laws that are being exercised in multiple states say that a mother or a medical professional could be imprisoned for aborting the unborn fetus. This has lead to people falling into three groups: the group who doesn’t want abortion, the group who wants abortion, and the group who doesn’t care. Unfortunately, if you are in the group who does not care, you are usually pressured into picking a side. No matter your opinion on the topic, however, either side will give a fake review or cause an uproar on social media because of a medical professionals stance. 

This is where things can get scary. Many of these fake reviews can hurt a medical professional’s reputation. These tasteless reviews can cause other people, who are looking for a person to care for their needs, to reject them because of the review. The most fortunate thing about this is that most review sites will actually evaluate some of the reviews and possibly remove them. One recommended option is that medical professionals hire reputation management companies for the sake of saving face. 

However, Emerald Coast Medical Association understands that it is vital to have a voice in the community. We do recommend that you think before you post and that you understand that people can be offended by anything. For you though, we offer a safe place where you are allowed to share your opinion. If you become a member with us, we offer you a voice at our membership meetings which will spotlight essential topics and emerging trends in medicine. You can also comment on our blogs and tell us how you felt about the piece or an opinion we spoke about in the blog. We are here to hear you out, don’t be scared around us. We want to hear your voice; we care about your voice.