By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I don’t know if you are one of the growing number of people who look at online reviews rating physicians but, despite the fact there is very little quality control over random surveys, a new report in the journal Pediatrics suggests consumers are using the reviews to help make decisions.

In their report, thirty percent of parents report that they would avoid a pediatrician who had negative online reviews on physician-rating sites.

This was not a small study. Researchers surveyed more than 1,600 parents to evaluate the use of online rating sites to choose a physician.

In case you wonder what most influenced decisions, there is definitely still a value to word of mouth. The survey found that parents were three times more likely to choose a pediatrician a neighbor recommended if they also had a positive online review.

This is clearly an indication about the importance of surveys and reviews.

Dr. Brian McDonough