Fellowship Trained & Board Certified in Pain Medicine

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Archive for March 2018

Interpreting online reviews of pain management practices

While online reviews of  service industries are helpful, they should be read with some skepticism, especially when it comes to pain management practices.  Some reviews are fraudulent, created by people who have never been to the practice or perhaps created by a computer program.  Legitimate, enthusiastic positive reviews may have more to do with likability of the physician rather than his or her care, and negative reviews are no different.

Frequently, a pain management practice will see a new patient and recommend weaning the patient off controlled pain medications such as opiates or avoiding them altogether.  This often results in tremendous dissatisfaction for some patients, and many of these patients will go online immediately to post a negative review.  Often these reviews go on to criticize other aspects of the practice or simply misrepresent the truth.  Please consider this hypothetical example.  A patient is seen at initial evaluation and the pain physician tells him that his MRI and physical exam do not show or suggest a problem that is severe enough to put the patient on an opiate such as hydrocodone.  The patient then leaves the clinic angry and posts an online review stating that the physician treated him “like an addict.”  This is false and misleading.  Of course, the clinic cannot respond because doing so risks betraying the patient’s privacy as it relates to his health.

It makes sense that if opiates have been over-prescribed in recent years, pain management clinics will see new patients that they believe should not be on opiates.  This news, even when delivered compassionately in a manner that focuses on the diagnosis and the risk of the medication, is often not well-received.  Conversely, while most physicians strive for excellence, a 5-star review may not always be accurate.  Therefore, one should consider pain management reviews carefully.

Other data that might be helpful to consider when choosing a physician include board certification, fellowship training, the reputation of the physician among other health professionals in the community, and the experiences of people you know and trust.

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As always, the mission of our practice is to provide excellent, compassionate care, and we thank you for being willing to share feedback to help us grow!

You can click the link below to submit a review. Don’t feel obligated to include your full name, as these reviews are public. Your feedback is valued!

If your experience has not been to our high standard, please feel free to call us and ask for our practice manager, Lynne Marston.

Thank you for your continued support and feedback!

Sincerely,
T. Wade Martin, M.D.
R. Brian Thoma, M.D.

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