Patient Support & Advocacy

How to manage your online reputation: Top 4 tips


Do you know what patients see when they search your name online? Learn how to curate your online persona to make sure patients get the right impression of you.

“I used to never Google myself because I was afraid to see what patients thought about me,” said Ravi D. Goel, MD, an ophthalmologist from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “Then I decided to take charge of my online reputation. I wanted to make sure that no matter how a patient searched for me, they were going to get basic, factual information about me.”

Through years of experience, Dr. Goel, former chair of the AMA Young Physicians Section (YPS), created some tips for other physicians who want to manage their online reputations. He discussed his best advice at the 2014 AMA-YPS Interim Meeting in November.

Dr. Goel’s tips include:

  1. Search for yourself. Type such queries as your first and last name (both with your medical degree and without) and your full name plus the word “rating” into a search engine, and see what comes up. Also search for your specialty and local area to see whether any results pertain to you or your practice.
  2. Update your information. Ensure that the information on your practice website, health rating websites, social media accounts and professional organization pages is accurate.
  3. Get a professional headshot. You can use this photo on your practice website, social media and other websites where your name is featured. “Your image is your brand and should be consistent on all websites,” Dr. Goel said.
  4. Address critics, but stay positive. If you come across a negative review of you or your practice, don’t respond immediately—you might come across angry. Instead, wait a bit and then respond in a positive way by calling the patient, sending a note of apology and offering to reschedule. If you enhance the patient’s experience, they may remove or amend the negative review.

By optimizing the first few search engine results in which your name is returned, you can better control the way you appear to patients.

Learn more during a free webinar Dec. 10. Experts from will lead an interactive webinar for physicians Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Register today.

Participants will learn why online reputation management is important, what comprises a practice’s online presence, how to monitor what patients are saying on review sites and best practices for improving their practice’s online reputation. is the preferred provider of online reputation management products and services through the AMA MVP Program.