Education / Lap & Robotics / Surgical Innovations
Introduction & Objective :
Americans are increasingly using online rating websites to obtain information about physicians and to provide feedback. We sought to perform an analysis of online ratings information, with specific focus on the relationship between overall urologist rating and urologist subspecialty.
Methods : We conducted an analysis of urologic physician ratings on Healthgrades.com. We selected 20 states throughout four US geographical regions and collected ratings data for all urologists across three practice sizes within each state (largest private practice group; largest academic center; three small urology practices, <5 physicians). Using available online information, physicians were further categorized into one of the following subspecialty groups: general, female urology, infertility and men's sexual health, pediatrics, reconstruction, robotics/oncology, and stones/endourology. Ratings data were collected, which are provided on a scale of 1-5 (1=“poor”; 5=“excellent”). Statistical analysis was performed using Kruskal-Wallis analysis to assess for significant differences in the distributions of ratings within each subgroup.
Data was analyzed on 872 urologists with a mean age of 53 (+/-10) years. Comparison of median ratings by physician and practice characteristics are detailed in Table 1. The median overall urologist rating was 4.0 (IQR [3.4-4.7]). Kruskal-Wallis analysis demonstrated that academic practice type and robotics/oncology subspecialty ratings were significantly higher when compared to remaining practice types or subspecialties (p<0.001 for both). All other comparisons throughout practice type, specialty, region, and gender failed to demonstrate statistically significant differences.
In our study of online urologist ratings, academic practice setting and robotics/oncology subspecialty were associated with higher overall ratings. Further study is needed to assess whether this finding persists across other online rating websites.