Finding a Colonoscopist Online Should Be Easier

June 2, 2011

In my quest for finding a great doctor to take care of the inevitable, there were so many details about the great physicians available that I couldn’t distinguish between them - even though I’m a doctor myself.

On the eve of my first colonoscopy, none of my “hot” ideas are coming together for this week’s post. I can’t concentrate and can’t sit still. Maybe it’s because I’ve had 40 ounces of Gatorade mixed with Miralax?!

I turned 50 last September. I’ve put off the inevitable and finally scheduled my colonoscopy about one month ago.

Interestingly enough, my biggest dilemma was finding a doctor!

My initial problem was location. I live in Bethesda, Maryland, and work in northern Virginia. Two completely different markets, separated by the Potomac River and volumes of unpredictable traffic (i.e., it is not very convenient to travel between the two areas).

I decided to behave like a patient and called my PCP for a suggestion. She guided me to a large group in the same complex. Choosing between doctors in this large group was the next challenge, as there are no fewer than 15 docs in this group.

I started looking at the “about” pages and, as a physician, got lost. Here’s why:

• all went to great undergrads
• all went to med school
• all went to super residencies
• all belong to several associations and foundations
• all have special clinical interests
There were so many details about these great docs that I couldn’t distinguish between them. Even as a doctor reading the web page, most of the credentials they listed were meaningless to me. Face it, past college, most of us don’t really know the difference between med schools, do we?

Certainly any credential past med school was certainly over my head. I suppose, if I were a gastroenterologist, I might be impressed with each of their achievements, but I’m not. I’m guessing most of their patients aren’t either.

Their “about” pages were crammed with so many details, the point of the page was lost. Apparently, all their docs are “Superman.”

But I just needed a routine colonoscopy.

The problem is that the practice’s website was written to appeal to other gastroenterologists ...not patients. Even I had trouble making heads or tails between the different docs. I can’t imagine how confusing it must be for other patients.

Someone forgot that the website was intended to appeal to patients, not doctors.
Take time to look at your own website. Who are you speaking to? Your website should reflect facts about you and your practice, but should do it at the level of the patient. Ask a friend or relative to read about you: Are they impressed or more confused?

BTW, I chose a guy who went to Haverford College.

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