In a recent poll of drivers, their No.1 complaint was… slow drivers in the fast lane. In this never-ending “turn it up one more notch” world, the fast lane is for passing other cars, not passing the time.

Doctors are now in their own digital fast lane. In a recent article published by Journal of the America Medical Association, your days of relaxing in the right lane – the slow lane, taking in the scenery – are ending. And one of two things will happen in that digital fast lane:

1) You overtake the doctor ahead of you; or

2) You become the target of unwelcome hand gestures signaling to get in the right lane.

In case that was overly vague – I’m talking about your online persona (reputation) as defined by your patients.

Let me illustrate.

Google your name. Type in “Dr

[Your First Name] [Your Last Name] Reviews”. Actually, type it on your mobile phone because ultimately the mobile arena is your even faster paced digital highway.

What you see is what patients see. You are bracketed in one of the following six categories:

Bankruptcy Low or High Trust
Invisibility Low or High Consistency
Service Recovery Center of Excellence

Which stage are you in? And how do you know?

Each of these will be defined in detail over the next several weeks. We will include actionable tips on what remedies to implement. Take the opportunity to “guess” which stage you reside, write it down, and see if what you choose rings true.

For starters lets examine Bankruptcy.

This stage is characterized by lots of negative reviews. By lots, I mean over 60% reviews posted about you are below 2.5 stars. If this defines you, prepare yourself for BANKRUPTCY. Perhaps not formal, legal bankruptcy – but prepare for challenges to your business around the corner. Patients demand signals of quality. They will not walk through your door if other patients have blanketed the web with complaints about you. There’s too much risk, fear, and bad karma to warrant even giving you a second look. Yes you could try to suppress those reviews – pay a review site for advertising in hopes you can dilute the damage, or maybe try to reason with the review site to take them down. But that’s a problem in itself – you’re a doctor. If you work to bury reviews, you risk making yourself completely invisible to patients at large. A rotten strategy.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you can take now: Brand Recovery 101 – How You Can Regain Control

Next Stage: Invisibility.

Consider the following: Are you invisible to patients looking for you?