What Donald Trump and Yelp Have in Common

Elite Yelpers write lots of reviews. I don’t want to tar all Elite Yelpers with the same brush. I’m sure some, perhaps many, are wonderful human beings. But, based on feedback from select surgeons who have encountered Elite Yelpers, here are some of their observations.
They play by their own rules. They let businesses know that they are Elite Yelpers and have the power to crush their business. Roll out the red carpet. If they’re unhappy, they’ll go online and spread bile. ALL CAPS.


No civility.


One plastic surgeon summarized a recent visit by an Elite Yelper. The patient introduced herself as an Elite Yelper. Then she said, ”What can you do for me?” The subtext was roll out the red carpet or else you will pay and pay dearly.


The surgeon had to decide whether it was better to accommodate this patient and hope for the best; or terminate the relationship before they marched forward together into the unknown.


A long-standing surgical adage goes: ”Once you cut the patient, you’ve bought them.”


A mentor of mine said before doing elective surgery, consider that the patient may develop a wound infection. Then decide whether you can live with seeing that patient for dressing changes over 6 months. Will you cringe when you see the list of patients scheduled for post-op follow-up?


The doctor-patient relationship is collaborative.


Patients have to do their part. Pre-op care. Post-op care. Having reasonable expectations.
Doctors have to do their part. It’s part of the job description.


But, no doctor likes being squeezed with special demands just because a patient has the perceived power to toy with a doctor’s hard earned reputation.


Oh, you’re probably waiting for what Yelp and Donald Trump have in common.
You can fill in the blanks. Feel free to insert your comments, whether they are politically correct or not.

By |2017-07-14T11:26:56+00:00February 12th, 2016|News, Online reputation|22 Comments

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Helping patients find the best doctors online. Helping the best doctors be found online. At eMerit®, we focus on managing your Dental or Medical Identity toward a sustainable and growing business – where both doctors and patients thrive. And we minimize distractions away from patient care while meeting your business objectives by transforming everyday patient interactions into growth drivers. At eMerit, we take your Medical Identity® personally.


  1. David StinsonFebruary 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Did the surgeon operate??? I would have wanted to terminate that relationship immediately .

  2. Joe Horton MDFebruary 12, 2016 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    It builds a strong case for recording everything. Once a patient defames a doctor, it seems that that patient has decided that it’s OK to violate doctor-patient confidentiality, so pari passu, the doc should be able to respond in the forum in which he’s attacked with, say, an MP3 of the patient’s unreasonable demands. No? Am I missing something here?

    • Nate Schramm, OD, FSLSFebruary 12, 2016 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      Agreed! I look forward to the day where we can record all patient interactions directly into the medical records and I will never stare at the computer screen instead of communicating with my patients!

      • BrysonMay 22, 2016 at 4:46 am - Reply

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      • No i´m not an aero … No i´m not an aero expert, and neither are you, you are a white trash redneck living in a trailor thinking the world will end in 2012 while you mix your genepool within your family, sitting in front of the computer talking a bunch of crap to a team that has done so much with such an established group of people. People that say other people have a 2 inch penis are usually the ones that have it but let´s everyone knows because they are so mad they have on themselves.Last bit is you. Was this answer helpful?

  3. Joe Horton MDFebruary 12, 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Oh–and no relationship to the Donald, at least that I can see. All things considered, I’d vote for a capitalists–even that one–over an admitted socialist.

  4. Stacy ChildsFebruary 12, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    I think Trump haters are afraid of more than his political incorrectness/sometimes vulgar speech. Read Killing Reagan and see that one of our greatest and eventually most respected presidents was flawed many times more than Trump. It is about returning this country to the people and debt free. I don’t see a better prospect out there.

  5. p zadehFebruary 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Why wait till an Elite yelper introduce himself or herself? We search the yelp for email and name of any new patients. If they are active yelpers, we would not be accepting new patients that month. Active Yelpers are absolutely positively not worth servicing. You will be dealing with a crowd that likes to tell her side to the world without you having a chance to tell your side of story. Why? Let them find it difficult to be accepted to a service establishment so that they appreciate the service they receive.

    • EstaFebruary 13, 2016 at 8:38 am - Reply

      Good for you. Awesome idea!!!

    • rickiFebruary 14, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Can you tell me how to search yelp for emails- seems very time consuming.
      Thanks so much!

    • DollyMay 22, 2016 at 6:42 am - Reply

      You codl’nut pay me to ignore these posts!

    • Neanderthal,I had my house appraised last year when I refinanced. The lady who appraised it asked me point blank exactly why I needed an appraisal. I know my house had lost a ton of value since I purchased it. The number did actally surprise me, I really assumed it was going to come in much lower.

  6. K Murray Leisure, MDFebruary 12, 2016 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    What do Yelpies and Trump have in common? Look at central Europe in 1935. Amidst decadence, financial bubbles, and a crumbling economy, powerful thugs and demagogues emerged. Today Yelpies and Trump both operate against American society and American values. They prosper by bullying, influence peddling, mafia-style shake downs, savage assaults on ethnic groups, attack and confiscate honest businesses/private properties, and trample on human civil rights unless frightened citizen victims pay up (influence peddling, “pay to play”). These tactics appear to me more like Mussolini’s Italy in the 1930’s rather than the USA free market model of businesses unburdened by frivolous regulations and taxes, markets w open competition, and real economic prosperity.

  7. Michael M. RosenblattFebruary 12, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Taking Trump out of the equation, at least for a moment, some people like to yell. Those are the people who have as their very basic method of communication: “Attack first and apologize later or never.”

    We like to think that we have the ability to at least try to disparage their attack, but in truth we do not. Physicians are supposed to be “above the fray,” keep a stiff upper lip and be utterly respectable in any circumstance. In fact, when physician/patient privilege is in force, we are not even entitled to respond at all. We are only entitled to be “angry” when nobody is watching.

    Here’s where I always drew the line:

    1. If a patient intimated I did anything illegal
    2. If a patient intimated I did anything “inappropriate” for the status of my professional behavior
    3. If a patient alleged that I did something inappropriate or against the ethics of my profession
    4. If a patient spread lies about me.

    I would not break the standard of care of confidentiality, but I WOULD write a certified letter to them making it clear that I would NOT tolerate any aspersions against my honesty, character or professional behavior. I “intimated” that if their behavior continued, I might consider legal action against them. I even did this in cases where I operated a patient.

    You have to draw the line someplace. You can do this without divulging PHI. But above all, you CANNOT do that over the Internet.

    If you have a choice to avoid operating a Yelp Yeller, you have been given a real gift: The for-warned gift of choice. Mostly you don’t have that information ahead of time. Now you do. You can avoid that patient like the plague he/she is. Which means that unless you are on a desert Island and nobody else is around who is even close to being a doctor, you can stay very, very far clear of them.

    Now to Trump. I don’t like him. I never did. But I also recognize he has “touched” a sensitive nerve among conservative Americans. I fear Bernie Sanders because I believe he has his “eye” on my 401K to help fund his “utopia” of handouts for illegal aliens and the 48% of the American public who do not work. Would I “wake up” one day to see most of my 401k attached by Government, vanished like a fart in the wind? (quote from Shawshank Redemption). I also fear Hillary Clinton as both a liar and a potential felon. She is no more principled than her husband, without the issue of sex.

    Some Repubs are too religious for me. That scares me too. But at least they won’t jettison Israel. I realize I shouldn’t get into politics here, but we could end up with a Jewish, progressive liberal President who is not a supporter of Israel. Who would have thought?

    This is as messy a candidate list as I have ever seen. You’d think with this many Americans in this country we could have come up with some better choices….? But we don’t have any.

    Michael M. Rosenblatt, DPM

  8. Saqib SiddiqiiFebruary 13, 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply

    How do you even know if a patient is a Yelper?

  9. Michael M. Rosenblatt, DPMFebruary 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Dr. Siddiqii, I am not an expert in the Yelp blog site. Yelp is a website that deals with “customer opinions” in that people write in and give their opinion under the “title” of the particular business you are looking-up. You can look it up by typing in http://www.yelp.com in the top strip on your browser. Yelp will identify your local area and you will automatically be re-directed to local sites. You may not realize the patient is a Yelper until it is “too late” and their poison is already up on Yelp, complaining about YOU.

    Yelp has been frequently criticized, the critics alleging that people have been doing “plants” of opinions that are lies, but are used to poison a competitor. Some reviews have been sent en mass and have been particularly poisonous. Often reviews are just plain angry and disrespectful. Yelp edits out profanity so you won’t see that.

    “Yelp Yellers” are people who look for an opportunity to write heinous reviews, sometimes for the “fun” of it, sometimes because they are genuinely angry. There are some worse affronts on national TV. On a late show I saw a televised skit attack Chipotle restaurants and making fun of their problems. This is “supposed” to be funny. However, there are people who have invested everything they have to open a Chipotle franchise. They can lose everything if their franchise closes. I mean everything. Obviously I don’t find that “funny.” Employees can lose their jobs and often these employees are minimum wage and need every penny.

    It is sometimes a REAL shock to open up a website that has YOUR name on it and reading reviews of your business or profession. You may find out that some patients are very angry at you or your staff. One of the services offered by E-Merit is to try to “indemnify” your Internet presence. We all have to realize that this is an entirely new factor that did not exist when you (or I) were in medical school.

    I think it is usually better to hire E-Merit BEFORE you see an on-site disaster of opinions of your services. Sometimes the alleged posts can be inflammatory and deeply disturbing, leaving you with sleepless nights. After the opinions are posted, sometimes it is too late for them to really help. An “ounce” of prevention is worth a “pound” of cure.

    I have no connection with E-Merit or their business. All I can tell you is that this is a completely different world and that you need help dealing with it. Nothing in your experience as a physician has given you any tools to deal with it.

    Michael M. Rosenblatt, DPM

  10. Steven SchultzFebruary 14, 2016 at 12:41 am - Reply

    My experience is yelp seems to have some sensible moderators. Best to completely ignore posts. My fear is always that when you reply to one of these defaming posts (as Jeff always recommends), the post becomes more credible and “sticks” up there.

    Yes the internet is insane. Medical board accusations stay forever. Since that became our reality, it seems best to consider the character of the state medical board when deciding on your practice locale (or maybe whether you choose medicine at all).

    • http://www.cvilledoulas.com/April 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Enjoyed looking through this, very good stuff, thanks . “Nothing happens to any thing which that thing is not made by nature to bear.” by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

  11. AnonFebruary 15, 2016 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Ignoring all negative posts is a bad idea. When your practice derives most patients from the Internet, controlling your presence is paramount. And making a single, thoughtful response to the negative yelper is good.

    It is a bad idea to post a comment without the input of Medical Justice – been there regretted it.

    Trump likes to criticize and Yellp. If he gets in America will need some help. But I’m convinced anything will be better than the Dragon-Lady, or Bern-baby.

  12. Scott KasdenFebruary 15, 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I would terminate.

    Trying to deal with Yelp is useless, and this has been documented in many lawsuits, and by my own experience.

    I have said many times, “I have never regretted NOT taking on a patient, but I have regretted accepting a whole lot”. Maybe I’m loosing my macho, but who needs the implicit threat, and the jinx that comes with it. They also have the attitude of entitlement, and expect that they are special and as such, complications won’t touch them.

    My “normal patients” are demanding enough.

    Let someone else with an iron stomach deal with it. It isn’t worth the money or pound of my own flesh.

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