Online-only: Reputation slideshow

In October 2012, Dermatology World provided an online-exclusive look at reputation management case studies involving physicians. To illustrate the potential impact of empowered patients doing Internet research on their physicians, we’ve followed up on the cases and how they ultimately affected the physicians involved.


An anesthesiologist filed a civil suit against a former patient, alleging libel, after the patient took to multiple doctor review sites to leave negative reviews.

A California ophthalmologist was hit with a bad review that called him a “MONEY GRUBBER” [sic] one day after his practice’s grand opening. He later founded a company,, that combats negative reviews by soliciting positive reviews from verified former patients to dilute the effect.

A New York dentist was sued after requiring patients to sign a contract promising to not publish any disparaging comments online and handing over copyright on any online commentary to the practice. The practice received negative media attention and even more scathing reviews, and closed soon after.

In May 2012, a Florida cosmetic surgeon filed suit over comments including “excessive scarring” on a review. The lawsuit was later dropped after the patient and physician came to a mutual agreement on a corrective procedure.

A Minnesota man unhappy with his father’s treatment complained online and to 19 professional organizations about the neurologist who treated him. The doctor filed suit, and the case made its way to the state Supreme Court, where the reviews in question were ruled to not be defamatory.

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