This is good: Boston neurosurgeon Sagun Tuli reportedly sued the surviving spouse of a patient over a negative blog post. Apparently part of the action was grounded in the fact that the less-than-flattering commentary appeared on the first page of Google when searching the doctor’s name.
Doctors looking on should take away a few things:
You can’t control the conversation. You can start it, join it, shape it, or be cross about it. But you can’t control public dialog.
If negative stuff about you ranks high on Google, you’re not working hard enough on your footprint. You can create your story or you can let other people create it for you. Spend your time creating amazing stuff or creating the stuff of amazing stories. It will always overshadow the drivel.
More people read Boston Globe feature articles than patient blogs. Even more people read blog posts, comments, tweets and Facebook remarks about Boston Globe feature articles than patient blogs.
We draw more attention to a story when we work to have it removed. Even when we have a strong legal case, the Streisand effect should always be considered before taking public action against an individual. This is especially true when the individual recently lost a loved one to cancer.
While I never saw the original patient post, I’m not sure that I need to. I suspect that the threat to set the record straight had more of an impact the career of this doctor than the isolated view of any one patient.
Image via Wikipedia.