Most of us who live and work in the Real World barely have time to read email, let alone think of the Internet as having any serious impact on us. After all, that’s all just electronic, virtual reality. We operate in the tangible, corporeal world, right? Don’t be too sure about that. Many aspects of a physician’s career are intangible. The education, for example, is just represented by that piece of paper on the wall. The education itself is an intangible. One’s reputation is another essential, intangible asset. But with the Internet, your reputation (far more so than an education) has the potential to be in a constant state of flux. Even if you have 20 people saying how wonderful you are for every one person who claims you’re a quack, it’s still that one bad comment that is going to get the attention and ruin your reputation. It really should be expected, because the content patient doesn’t make it their life’s work to discredit you with their allegations. Remember, an allegation is all it takes. People think “Where there’s smoke, there must be some sort of fire,” so they move on a physician who may be nowhere near as highly experienced as you, but who also hasn’t had the chance to rack up any bad feedback yet. So you get the bad rep, and the new guy gets the patient.

It’s a distressing fact that what we do matters, both on and off the Internet. A recent New York Times article entitled “The Web Means The End of Forgetting” reveals we no longer have private personal lives, and how things we’ve said and done decades ago can and do come back to haunt us. One such example involves 66-year-old Canadian psychotherapist who was permanently banned from visiting the U.S. after a border guard’s Internet search found that the therapist had written an article in a philosophy journal describing his experiments — 30 years prior — with L.S.D. (Nevermind whether that was factual or not, it’s on the Internet, so the damning is already accomplished.) Microsoft’s study found that 3/4 of all U.S. recruiters and human-resource professionals’ companies require them to do online research about candidates. 70% of recruiters have ultimately elected not to hire a candidate based on personal information found online, including photographs, associations, membership in groups, etc. In such an age, with such a lack of privacy, few (if any) are immune to the intrusions of the Internet’s prying eyes… nor are they immune from the devastating effects of an allegation, even if it is proven entirely false.

How do you protect your valuable reputation in times like these? That’s just one of the benefits of a membership in Medical Justice. If you’re a medical professional, there are a number of ways that Medical Justice membership can preserve your well-earned reputation and protect you against such ugly, unwarranted affairs. Medical Justice provides the only proven tool to have false or egregious posts remove. And discovering those post doesn’t have to be a full-time job either. Medical Justice searches the major doctor “rating sites” for you – looking for any posts with your name.

Contact a member of the Medical Justice team, find out for yourself how many useful, valuable benefits you can enjoy. You may be surprised at just how little that peace of mind can cost!