My wife is 8 weeks pregnant and we had our first prenatal visit last week. The OB/GYN we went was referred by our primary care physician and everything was fine until we told the news to one of my friend's wife. Her friend started researching about our OB/GYN and sends links that have negative review about the doctor we are seeing. Now my wife is not comfortable with her OB/GYN and have started thinking that we have made a wrong decision.

What should we do? Should we change our doctor because of a negative review from an unknown person on a random website? I don't know how to convince my wife or handle this situation.

Is there any web site that has doctor reviews that we can trust?

asked 19 Feb '10, 23:30

Sen's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 22 Feb '10, 14:53

brandstaetter's gravatar image



My OB/GYN wasn't present at the birth of my first baby, it was a difficult birth, but it was attended by one of the partners in her practice. She missed it because of "Personal Reasons", which I had absolutely no problem with at all. I trusted her, and therefore, I trusted her to only work with exceptional doctors like herself. But, if I was a different type of person, I might have had a huge problem with it. And posted on the internet about it. Which is why I get referrals from people I trust, and don't read those internet sites.

Unfortunately, it's too late, if your wife is uncomfortable with your doctor now, you'll probably have to get a different one. I'm exceptionally rational when I'm pregnant, having been pregnant 6 times, but even I realize that arguing with a pregnant woman about how she feels is a fools errand. Sorry, but you have to have someone you trust completely if they are going to look at your nether regions that often, and know them better than you do, and I doubt your wife won't be able to get past this.

And if you do find another Doctor who is everything you and your wife could ever hope for, (and I'll bet you do!), don't forget to tell your wife's helpful friend that you did all the research you need and to please mind her own bloody business. Well, that's the way I'd put it, but you can be nice.

P.S. My doctors "Personal Reasons", I've since found out that her 3 year old had a high fever, (my sister-in-law went to med school with her and told me, she also told me that my doctor had felt awful about missing my sons birth), which I totally get, her baby at home who needed her, or me at the hospital surrounded by competent professionals. What kind of person would you have to be to think you'd win in that situation?


answered 20 Feb '10, 06:31

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accept rate: 30%

edited 21 Feb '10, 14:44

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Scott ♦♦

+1 I liked your answer very much Neen. You make a great point about "helpful friends"... sometimes they can just make matters worse.

(21 Feb '10, 11:11) Emi

This sounds like a tricky situation. Here is how I evaluate online reviews:

  • What is the source? As you say, someone you know is obviously more trustworthy than a random stranger.
  • Is the review excessively negative or excessively positive? In general, I prefer moderate reviews as they tend to give a more balanced picture.
  • Is there a trend in review responses? For instance, you say that the negative reviews complain about not being able to contact the Dr after office hours. Is this a consistent complaint or might it be explained by the Dr being in the middle of a cesarean operation when another patient tried to contact them?
  • Does the review specifically state what they liked or disliked?
  • How important to you is the situation referenced in the review?

Like Tammy said, it's really important you feel completely comfortable with your doctor. Hopefully everything goes ok but if it doesn't, you may need to trust your wife and baby's life to decisions that the doctor has to make quickly without time to consult you.

I know it can uncomfortable, but I strongly recommend interviewing at least two, preferably three, doctors before choosing one. Doctors in the US are use to this and often, though not always, will provide a complimentary 15 min appointment. Before going in to the interview, sit down and discuss what is important to you. WebMD has a very nice article on questions to ask when choosing both your health care provider and the hospital. As an aside, I chose my hospital before choosing my obstetrician. It was very helpful to tour it before I arrived to deliver as I already knew their general procedures and what to expect.

Regarding the specific concerns you listed in response to Tammy's questions, I personally would be a little worried by a provider that is hard to contact (though there may be extenuating circumstances we aren't aware of). If you start having contractions early, the hospital usually prefers that you contact your health care provider before coming in. I did go into preterm labor on a Saturday night so being able to contact them is important to me, or at least, being able to contact a partner in the practice. On the other hand, depending on how it is handled, talking about possible miscarriages may be helpful if the doctor is discussing it in terms of how to avoid miscarriages.


answered 20 Feb '10, 02:52

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Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

I don't think this is the type of question with a correct answer, it would really be a personal decision and for me it would depend on the nature of the negative review. I would base my decision on the assumption that the claim is true and if that's the case would I be okay if I were in the same situation.

Bottom line, if it were me I would want to make sure I'm comfortable with the Dr. that was going to be taking care of me throughout my pregnancy. Eight weeks is still early and there is a lot of time to find another OB/GYN or midwife if that is a route you choose to pursue. I think it would be reasonable to interview more than one physician to find someone who is right for you.

I would also choose to work this out now while it is still early versus trying to find a new Dr. after several months have passed and I am already in a situation I'm not comfortable with. I'm not sure where you are from but if you are in Canada you can check out the College of Physicians and Surgeons website. I haven't had time to read the website in depth but if they are like many professional organizations information on members who are found guilty of legal/ethical violations related to their profession are made public.


answered 20 Feb '10, 01:00

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Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%


Basically I'am from India,but I live now in the US, Seattle Area.Interviewing multiple physician is also a new concept for me.And the negative reviews I was talking about is mostly that the Dr did not respond to calls after office hours and always talks about possible miscarriages.Since this is our first pregnancy and we are new to the area, its kind of confusing.I understand that there is no single correct answer for this question.But I hope I can make better judgement based on the responses.

(20 Feb '10, 01:17) Sen

Welcome to Seattle...we're new to the Seattle area too! :)

(24 Feb '10, 06:08) Sabrina

For me it would mostly depend on the main points of the review. If I got along fine with the doctor, but the review was all about how the doctor was brisque, or too clingy, then I can simply assume that different people have different relationship styles, and we are compatible.

If the article cast doubt on the doctor's ability - suggesting, for instance, that the doctor had a higher rate of emergency C Sections than other doctors, then I'd want to look into the allegations further.

Unfortunately, however, the seeds of distrust have already been sown, and even if such allegations are proven false and the review was nothing more than some busybody with an axe to grind, chances are good the unsettled feeling would remain. In some cases ignorance was bliss.

Regardless of the circumstance, if you and your wife don't feel comfortable then you really have two options that you should seriously consider:

  • Bring up your concerns with the doctor. You've seen one side of the story, and if you think that you might be able to feel comfortable with the doctor again, or want to give her a second chance, then it won't harm anyone to bring up your concerns and ask for her explanation.
  • Find a new doctor. You don't want to go into delivery with doubts, so if you don't feel comfortable bringing up the issue with the doctor and these feelings and worries aren't going to subside, then choose a new doctor.

answered 20 Feb '10, 05:59

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%

In the US, you can search Angie's List for reviews on all professionals including doctor's. I've personally never used the site, but I know friend's that have and find it useful.

I think the best referrals are from friends, but when you're new to an area that makes it harder. If you live close to Redmond, WA and want some good references, send me an email and I can give you a big list of doctor's my friends and I have had good experiences with. :)


answered 24 Feb '10, 06:16

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

The most important thing is to be comfortable with your doctor, if for some reason (any reason) you are not, you can change. I guess he's not the only one in the city!

Better safe than sorry, you have to be able to trust him with your life as, in some cases, this is true (for your wife and child at least).


answered 24 Feb '10, 13:26

JJJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

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Asked: 19 Feb '10, 23:30

Seen: 3,292 times

Last updated: 24 Feb '10, 13:26