Reviews of Physician Directories and Ratings Websites

Have you come across a doctors ratings or rankings website? Did you believe that you would find information about the quality of a doctor, only to be disappointed at the information it provided?

If you need to find a new doctor, it's wise to learn about a doctor you may choose. Using a directory or ratings site is one type of resource.

Most of these sites exist for only one reason - to make money. Knowing they are intended to generate income for their owners, we patients must make sure they contain useful information without a "cost" we shouldn't be expected to pay in money, time or privacy of our information.

Whether or not you have ever reviewed a doctor online yourself, you'll begin to see what information is useful, and what just seems like so much unusable information.

How Were These Reviews Developed?

Young woman sitting at desk, using laptop
Cultura RM Exclusive/Stefano Gilera/Getty Images

To create the list below, I sought answers to a number of questions about their business models and the way they create their lists and/or ratings. Find the questions I asked here.

Then, I searched each site for four real physicians who live and work in four different sections of the United States, about whom I know specific information. You can learn more about the physicians I researched too.

This list is evolving. As I learn about new sites, I will review them and add them to the list.

This is a directory site that includes doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and more. Two of the reviewed doctors (JA and DWM) were not on the list, meaning the site is kept updated. LM was on the list, meaning, DOs can be found here. It seems well updated.

Use UCompare Healthcare for basic credentials. You will need to use an extended search for malpractice information.


Doctor Finder (Directory Site)

This site is provided by the American Medical Association (AMA). It claims to have the largest database (no way to establish whether that is true). It breaks out members of the AMA from the nonmembers, and you have to take an extra step to look at nonmembers. (Membership in the AMA is not a credential that necessarily improves a physician's ability to practice medicine.)

Three of the researched doctors were missing on this site: LM, JA, and DWM.

There is nothing at this site that can't be found elsewhere and more completely. It's not worth your time.

Little or no help for patients can be found here since its only intent is to bring in advertising revenue.

Here's a quote from it's About Us page, "We are a group of web developers located (sic) that believe the internet should be a source of free information. We try to organize the information on the internet within our expertise for the ease of public use.

Important Information about the Doctors Data on this Site

The doctor database used on this site was licensed from another company. We try our best to ensure the accuracy of the information. However, the data may be outdated due to the date and the method of the collection. Please use selectively."

Patients - be selective enough to go elsewhere.


This site has some bare bones basics, but very little credential information. For two of the reviewed doctors, the credential information is out of date.

This site's "strength" is that it asks for patient input, but there is nothing that indicates who is providing the input. Most of its reviewed doctors have only one patient review, which is problematic, too. You can't get a sense of a doctor's ability based on the thoughts of only one patient.

Look elsewhere. There is not enough useful information here.


This site provides an interesting review of doctors not found on other sites. It uses an algorithm to determine ratings of med schools and hospital affiliations for each doctor.

Neither DWM or JA were found. That's a positive. LM was found, meaning DOs are listed.

Questions asked of patients are quite subjective, including courteous staff? bedside manner? You may not have the same tolerance as those who reviewed.

Use for the basics. You will need to use an extended search for malpractice information.


A review of the four doctors at Rate MDs reveals that those should not be there, aren't. The two doctors who should be there, are.

This site has the most individual patient ratings and may be most helpful if you are looking for them. Keep in mind that too few ratings or too many ratings can't give you an honest picture. Also, these ratings are entirely subjective because they are simply personal preferences.

This site does not provide board certification information which you'll have to find elsewhere. Also, since it simply links to state records where the doctor practices, you'll need to look further if you are hoping to uncover malpractice information.


Vimo's sole intent is to sell you insurance or connect you to other websites that will want you to upload your personal information.

Look elsewhere. This site is not worth your time unless you want to purchase insurance.


This site is incomplete, difficult to navigate, all reviews are anonymous and only some basics are supplied. Their database must be very small.

Doctors upload their own information, which is definitely not a good thing.

Look elsewhere.


Don't waste your time!

This site is a perfect example of one set up to make money, but not help patients. It is riddled with advertising, and doctors pay a fee to add their own information.

The doctors I reviewed had almost no information, except that it states they are all taking new patients (they aren't) and magically, their insurance acceptances are listed, even when credentials aren't. That means this site is getting its input from insurance companies or the Medical Information Bureau, and not from the state licensing listings or any other bona fide source.

You can't get any useful information from this site. Go elsewhere.


The Informed Patient Institute rates the ratings sites so you can learn more about those you may be interested in.

Even better, you can choose whether to look at ratings of ratings sites for physicians or nursing homes, and you can determine which of those sites works best in your state.


Sites Not Reviewed

There are a number of existing sites that I did not review:

  • Health Grades is a very well-known site which asks patients to pay for reports on their doctors. I did not spend the money to review the site.
  • Angie's List is well-known for its reviews of many kinds of services. It also requires a paid membership. I did not spend the money for the paid membership.
  • Several sites have databases that are way too small to be included in this review:

If you are curious about how these types of websites are viewed by the professionals who study healthcare policy and online applications, you may want to read this opinion from The Healthcare Blog.

Continue Reading