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Extreme Medical Injustice

doorajarShe has disappeared. A bizzare turn in the sad sad case of Stacy Makhnevich:

In the last few months, Dr. Makhnevich has disappeared, according to a story on Ars Technica, and her lawyers have been unable to get in touch with her. They said she closed her business and the sole communications they’ve had with her has been through her assistant…

via Dental Practice Management.

Briefly the Dr. Makhnevich story is that she contracted with a firm that assured her their contract would protect her from malicious online reviews. Eventually she received what she though was an unfair patient review and attempted to enforce the agreement. However far from forcing the patient to back down he turned around and sued her, it was picked up by a “public interest” group willing to push the matter then the media piled on and she was crucified.

The result at this point seems to be that she has been driven from the profession.

My take is that she just did what any of us might do when confronted with an unfair situation. As professionals our reputation is golden. She tried to use what she believed to be a legal means to protect herself. The result; absolute professional ruin.

Beware, online reviews are extremely powerful and the deck is heavily stacked against us.

The link above is to Dr Bicuspid. The story is also online at several other sources including Boing Boing and Slashdot.

One reply on “Extreme Medical Injustice”

Hey Larry,
I would beware of any company that says you can remove reviews (I realize the irony in me saying that given I used to own a company that said that). I have found with my clients that if dentists are intentional in getting positive reviews (by asking) they can dilute the occasional negative one. This takes a ton of pressure off the practice and alleviates the situation that you mentioned above. If they don’t get patients to say good things about you, I can guarantee that their online review life will be extremely negative as patients tend to report negative far more than positive.

I have a client who had a moment of – let’s just say – indiscretion ten years ago and one review site (a well known one) keeps allowing the patient to re-post the review every month. TEN YEARS AGO! We finally started a positive campaign by asking (okay bribing) patients to complete reviews and now he has a 4.8 out of 5 rating. As for the former patient who is trying to bury him? We are seeking legal advice against the review site and possibly the patient. Ten years is harassment, not a public service.

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