Cross-sectional analysis of online patient reviews of infertility care providers

Assisted Reproduction

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3, P282-286, DECEMBER 01, 2020


Ricci Allen, M.Sc., Shruti Agarwal, D.O., Mark P. Trolice, M.D.



To observe the effects of practice type, location, and mandated insurance coverage on infertility physician online reviews by patients.


Retrospective cohort study.


Not applicable.


Patient online reviews of fertility specialists from 2016 to 2019.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

The analysis consisted of the average rating out of 5 for each physician published on Vitals, RateMD, and Healthgrades.


Data were collected on 1,097 specialists. Physicians practicing in states with versus without mandated insurance coverage received an average rating of 4.093 versus 4.076, respectively. The average rating was 3.964 for physicians affiliated with a university or hospital versus 4.128 for those working in a private practice. Significant differences were found in physician ratings from the four regions. It was revealed that physicians who practiced in the South (n = 354) received significantly higher mean average ratings than those in the Northeast (n = 327) and Midwest (n = 175). Physicians practicing in the West (n = 241) received significantly higher ratings than those in the Midwest (n = 175).


The average online patient rating of infertility specialists was found to be significantly higher for physicians working in a private practice compared with those affiliated with a university or hospital system. No significant difference was found between the average rating in states with versus without mandated insurance coverage for infertility treatment. We propose that qualities other than patient financial responsibility are implicated in the factors used to rate physicians.