Maybe you’ve just moved to a new city or town, and it’s time to scout around for the best family medical practice you can find for you and your family.

One great way to find a superb family medical practice is to ask around – find out who your new neighbors use, and give that clinic or practice a try.

But if you need to zero in on a new doctor or practice before you’ve had time to meet a lot of people in your new area, another great way to “ask the neighbors” is to read what a medical clinic’s current customers have taken the time to say about them in online reviews.

You can find these reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, or on any number of other review sites (some of which are specific to the area, such as Next Door).

Online reviews are often also available on the practice’s web site.  It’s not necessarily a “bad sign” if the site doesn’t trumpet reviews – not all practices have great web sites – but it’s probably a “good sign” if the site gives you an easy-to-access summary of the reviews the clinic’s patients have taken the time to write.

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Look For Specifics

Some reviews are glowingly positive, but not very specific.  A patient might just feel grateful to the practice in a general sense and write their online review accordingly.

So it’s great when you can find positive online reviews that offer specific details, especially about experiences that match something you might be looking for:

  • Do you, or a family member, have a special need, such as asthma management or a sports injury?  Look for reviews that discuss how well the practice handled these specific needs.
  • Did you have a problem with your old family medical practice?  It’s great to find reviews that talk about how a clinic has excelled in the areas in which your previous docs might’ve dropped the ball.
  • How valuable is your time?  It’s a red flag when online reviews talk about how “busy” or congested a clinic always seems to be… unless the reviews highlight what great and prompt service the clinic provides even when everyone in town seems to be sitting in the waiting room!

Look for reviews to which you can readily relate… from patients who seem to come across as you think you would.  You want to be comfortable with your new family medical practice… and reading the practice’s reviews is a great way to build that comfort from the onset.

Take The Big Picture Into Account

Let’s face it – it’s hard to earn a rock-solid five-star review from every single patient, no matter how wonderful a family medical practice might be.

For one thing, by definition, people who visit family doctors are not at their best.  When they’re not feeling well, or lack energy, it’s easy for some folks to see the negative side of everything, and write an online review that says more about their own frame of mind than about the clinic’s actual performance.

Also, no business or organization is perfect… and even the best family medical clinics will make mistakes from time to time.  Don’t panic if you see one or two less-than-glowing reviews for a given practice.  Read the clinic’s responses to poor reviews… and look for reviews that mention problems, but talk even more about what the clinic did to solve those problems.

You can learn a lot about any business by reading online reviews and checking out the care they put into their web site and online presence.  Family medical practices are no different.  Find a practice with great online reviews, and you’ll be comfortable giving them a chance to help you with one of life’s most important responsibilities: your health, and that of your family.