Dr. Philip Leggett learned of a surprise. His patient, Vector Thorn, apparently had an axe to grind. Thorn was a web designer who purchased the domain name philiplegget.com (remarkably similar to the legitimate site drlegget.com).

On the bogus web site, Thorn used the surgeon’s logo and detailed his professional experience. He then added fictional patient comments and responses. Here’s a sampling. “Not so sudden death.” “Not my problem.” “Deal with it, Junkie.” “Kicked to the curb.”

In the About Us section, the site stated: “We recognize this may be a stressful time for you, so we will do everything possible to make sure we maximize your pain and suffering.”

The website was up for several months until Dr. Leggett learned of it from another patient. Leggett contacted authorities who tracked the mischief to the patient, Mr. Thorn.

Thorn was arrested and freed on $5,000 bail. He was charged with felony online impersonation.

It took months before the doctor even learned of this fictional site. Perhaps the site was not easily located on page 1 or 2 of a Google search. But, the domain name, philiplegget, was the same name as the doctor – and was likely rated as highly relevant to searchers looking for Dr. Leggett.

Most doctors should consider purchasing a domain name of their name (the cost is less than $10/yr) – and periodically search their name to see what Google returns.