Here’s a secret: Most veterinarians detest online reviews. They know that plenty of people now use them to find their new pet’s healthcare provider — so they can’t ignore them — but they also know how stressful reading the reviews can be.
Everyone knows a disgruntled client is a hundred times more likely to leave a negative review than a perennially happy camper. It only takes a couple of angry customers to pollute your reviews. And who hasn’t had a couple of angry people? (Some people are just naturally angry, anyway.)
In my case, the only negative online review I ever received (that I ever came across, anyway) wasn’t even a client’s. It was a prospective client who arrived 45 minutes late for her appointment without even calling to say she was running behind. My great sin was in actually stopping to introduce myself and explain that I wouldn’t be able to see her since she was late … so that I was now late to go pick up my son. She wrote that I condescended to her. Which I’m sure I did. Rude people with entitled attitudes piss me off.
Though I hated knowing that someone so annoying would write a negative review, it’s not really a big deal. I mean, now, anyone looking for a new veterinarian will know how much I hate latecomers. That’s not such a bad thing to put out there, is it?
But not all veterinarians have it so easy. Not at all.
To be sure, some veterinarians get what they deserve. Their crappy care might well leave victims looking for some way to ensure it doesn’t happen again. But others don’t deserve any of it; much less the angry rants that sometimes accompany these "reviews." Here’s why:
1. In veterinary medicine, writing fraudulent, flamingly negative reviews has become a problem behavior for disgruntled ex-employees. I’m sure it happens in plenty of fields (restaurants come to mind), but tech-phobic veterinarians tend to take these things hard.
2. The bigger hospitals get it worse (especially ER and specialty facilities). And it’s almost always to do with money. Because big hospitals a) have strict policies on payment; b) don’t have the luxury of getting to know their clients; and c) tend to deal in the toughest, most expensive cases. The financial obstacles can make people really really mad.
So it is that veterinarians hate these review sites. But, as restaurateurs have done, it’s my contention that veterinarians need to embrace them — not despise them or (worse) ignore them altogether.
How about you? Do you read reviews? Do you ever write one? Help shift the balance and get your veterinarian to enjoy reading his or her online reviews by writing one or two right now. Here’s a list of the Top 25 Veterinarian Review Sites. (Thanks to VetTech.org.)
Angie’s List: Use this linked page to find a city near you and to read about all the vets listed in or near that city. Angie’s List has reliable reviews on veterinarians across the U.S.
Best Veterinarian Review: This website is devoted to veterinarian reviews. They think veterinarian reviews from actual clients (and their pets) are the best way to see what a vet office is really like before visiting.
Better Business Bureau Accredited Business Directory — Veterinarians: This Accredited Business Directory is a listing of BBB Accredited veterinarians in Wisconsin, who have all agreed to a set of high standards in their business practices. If you live in another state, simply search for "BBB Business Review Veterinarians" and the name of your state.
Book of Doctors — Veterinarian: This doctor directory lists veterinarians nationwide and displays information such as address, phone number, accepted insurance plans, office hours, education, parking type, doctor’s hobbies, awards, etc.
California Veterinary Medical Board: The mission of the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) is to protect consumers and animals through development and maintenance of professional standards, licensing of veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians, and premises, and diligent enforcement of the California Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.
Dexknows Veterinarians: Find vets by state and by metro areas in this vast search engine and rating machine. Dexknows is run by a NYSE company that offers marketing solutions to companies and local businesses.
Find a Veterinarian: Whether you have a cat, dog, bird, reptile, horse or other type of pet, this site contains a comprehensive directory of qualified veterinarian clinics throughout the U.S.
Insider Pages Veterinarians: This link leads to the Key West, Florida, page, where you can find vets in that region and their reviews. Use the search engine at the top of the page to change the location to your area.
Pet Services Review: Pet Services Review exclusively targets businesses and services in Chicago and its outlying suburbs within a 30 mile radius.
PETCO.com Ratings and Reviews: PETCO offers a format where readers can make reviews about everything from vets to food to bedding. The cat and dog reviews receive the most attention, with over 29,000 reviews for dogs and over 12,000 reviews for cats.
Precious Pet Vets: This site covers it all, with ratings and reviews of everything from pet arts and crafts to day care, and from service dogs to — you guessed it — veterinarians. You also can search by location.
Rate and Review Your Bird’s Veterinarian: This About.com site asks if you are satisfied with your bird’s veterinarian. Whether you love your avian vet or not, you can voice your opinion by using the form to share your experience with other bird owners.
Rate it all Veterinarian: Rate It All is the fun and social way to find and share reviews about anything. Find a vet by zip code, rate vets and read reviews from around the country. You can share your findings on Facebook or Twitter.
Search for a Veterinarian: Use the search box to find a vet by city and zip code. Add a review or read the reviews already posted.
USA Veterinarians: Business listings are reviewed by professional editors, and many of the businesses listed include opening times, payment methods, maps and directions, website links, photos, reviews and coupons. Their editorial team makes great efforts to evaluate the existence and accuracy of each company profile and reviews.
Viewpoints Veterinarian Reviews: Some of these reviews have nothing to do with vets, but they do have a lot to do with veterinarians and their careers. If you’re seeking a specific veterinarian, you’ll need to do a page search for your state or specific location.
Vet Ratingz: Learn more about your vet through the forum, and check out the top rated vets across the country. This site was created to help consumers find the best veterinarians by sharing information and ratings, and to give people a "scorecard" on how they are doing.
Vet Reviews Online: Vet Reviews Online is here to help you choose the ideal vet for you and your pet. They try to make the site personal and truly care about what you, as a pet owner, want in a vet. You must register before you can use the site or read the reviews. This site also has a Facebook page.
Veterinarian Pages: Veterinarian Pages is a resource that allows you to find information about veterinarians in your area. Consumers can locate veterinary based practices, search directories, research services, obtain maps and directions, and much more.
Veterinarian Review: Review your pet’s doctor and learn from other pet owners about their vets.
Veterinarian Reviews Now: You can learn about vets in your neck of the woods here, an online resource for finding great veterinarian reviews from people with pets who have gone to visit them.
Veterinarians: Veterinarians.com enables you to find Veterinarians in your area. Start your search by entering a zip code, then read or write reviews about local vets.
Yelp! Veterinarians: This link leads to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, vets, but all you need to do is find the same topic in your city or region to learn about local vets and see their ratings.
ZipperPages Veterinarians: Drill down through this database to find vets by state and then by city. Many have not yet been rated or reviewed. This site provides information, reviews and ratings, maps and driving directions for thousands of vets nationwide.
Zootoo: At Zootoo, you can check out the cutest photo galleries and videos from pet lovers like you, have fun with quizzes and games, and get valuable information about your pet’s health and care.
Dr. Patty Khuly