I’m active on Linkedin and today I received a message which read:
“I will keep this brief, as I’m sure you are aware of your online issue. ReputationDefender has been providing medical professionals with online reputation solutions for nearly 14 years. Your situation can be solved.”
At first I thought it was just another spam message and ignored it. But something didn’t feel right about it so I thought, oh hell, why not google myself just to see if something fishy was up. So, I google Dr. Mo, see the same shitty websites like Healthgrades, Vitals, Health.USNews, etc.
I decided to click on Healthgrades and $@%^#!! … Sure enough, I see this:
It looks worse than it is because there are 2 separate events listed, even though they are the same thing. But, fuck me, it’s so much more obvious now that it’s like 1 click away.
I actually didn’t expect this but can’t say I’m too shocked. I suppose as a consumer that’s exactly the sort of information I would want if I’m googling a doctor’s name. So even though I dislike it …. I like it. Goddamn you Healthgrades, why must you be so good at what you do?!
When you click on the details you can view the PDF document from my medical board which details the stipulated order. But this isn’t the last of my disciplinary actions – that list is only gonna grow. This one is only from Oregon. I will have one soon from the AAFP, CMS, Washington Medical Commission, and eventually the California Medical Board.
I suspect that eventually my termination letters will show up there as well. Over the past 1.5 years my white coat criminal ass has accumulated 6 or 7 of those.
Defending your reputation
So this guy who contacted me in on Linkedin is from a company called Reputation Defender – how awesome is this name? Makes me want to work for them. Apparently Reputation Defender is a legit company – from what they write about themselves. I tried googling them for reviews and there was nothing. Which is odd. You would expect that an online reputation company would have some favorable online reputation mentions.
The guy who contacted me on linkedin must have access to some list of medical professionals who get in trouble with the medical board or malpractice suits. He reached out to me and asked for 5 minutes of my time so that he could help me clean up my online reputation, for a fee.
I respect his outreach and wouldn’t have known about them otherwise. But I won’t be reaching out to him. I thought about it for a minute, just to have something more to write about for this post. But I’ve dealt with such companies before. I wouldn’t say they are scams. In fact, I worked with one to help clean up my credit history way back in the day and they did a very nice job.
Ideally, I should have contacted these guys as soon as the shit started flying towards the fan – before I had final judgements against me. Now the shit is everywhere, dripping down my chin, it’s on my bath towel, and I got some in my mouth. I don’t need a reputation defender, I need a new career.
If you guys are interested, let me know in the comment section below and I can sit down with this dude and see what all he recommends and I can report back. But if there is no interest, I’ll just let this go.
Don’t freak out!
When I first came across this, I freaked out a little. In fact, for the past 1.5 years, every time I open an email from the medical board, every time I go to my mailbox, and every time I get a phone call, I get that dropping feeling in my body. I have a mini-panic and soil myself ever so slightly.
Many of you have written me and we’ve talked about your situation. I’ve had phone calls with others and it’s always a fucking terrible situation. Regardless of what happens out there, have faith in yourself if you’re a good person and try to not freak out.
There will always be things that you didn’t expect. I’m sure other things will come up which I didn’t suspect. Freaking out and getting overwhelmed won’t help you. You’ll make bad decisions, you’ll reach for the bottle, or consider slitting your wrists. And yes, you will think of suicide – sad to say this, but this is a normal feeling during such life-changing events. But it’s important to focus on life after this bullshit.
I’ve talked to many doctors now who have been my support system. They have told me “Dude, Dr. Mo, this sucks. I feel for you from the bottom of my heart. I had something similar happen 15 years ago, it was a disaster and nearly wiped me out. But I’ve since found a new job in a new hospital and I love what I do.” Thank you to all of you who have been my support – I’m trying to now be the support for those of you who are now dealing with this for the first time.
If you’re dealing with something similar then reach out to someone who has their shit together. Gain a realistic perspective on life. Watch some kitten videos on YouTube. Go take a vacation to the mountains and walk some gorgeous paths. If that doesn’t help, contact me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your live resume
I want to tell you why I am a little smart when it comes to all of this drama.
I started defending my reputation long before I needed to. I wrote a post several years ago urging my readers to reserve their name as a website: DrMattSmith.com or JaneSmithMD.com.
If someone googles my name – which, let’s face it, these days, many will – they will first come across my name as a website and then they will come across my business website. Only after those lines on Google search are taken, will they come across aggregation websites such as Healthgrades.
In fact, if I wanted t, I could write my own defense on my own website about myself. Or I could splatter myself across multiple other websites using SEO, so that when a search is done, nothing but my pushed content appears on the first page of Google. What’s great about this is that I keep pushing those aggregate websites further and further down the list.
The time to do this stuff is now, before those other websites can ruin your name. But, it’s not too late, even after your malpractice or board action is publicized, you can still search engine optimize to defend your reputation.
To defend your reputation, I recommend doing the following:
- start blogging (both anonymously and under your actual name)
- start creating YouTube videos
- get your full name listed on various websites by publishing content there
- become active in various online communities
- publish content regularly
- start your own website under your own name
If you want help on how to do this in detail, schedule a paid call with me on my clarity profile page.