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Your Body: Online physician ratings

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

With so many of us turning to sites like Yelp for hotel and restaurant reviews, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that many people choose their doctors the same way.

Over 50 percent of Americans think online reviews are important when it comes to finding a suitable physician. But a new report finds that physician rating websites have significant limitations.

Here’s my take on finding the right doctor:

  • Do your research -- and not just with what’s online. Ask your friends and other doctors and nurses who they see.
  • Check to see which hospital your doctor is affiliated with, and consider if your other doctors have privileges there as well.
  • Take those online reviews with a grain of salt. There’s a possibility that both the excellent and awful reviews could be fake.

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