The Effect of Orthopedic Advertising and Self-Promotion on a Naïve Population

Stephen Mohney, Daniel J. Lee, John C. Elfar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There has been a marked increase in the number of physicians marketing themselves directly to patients and consumers. However, it is unclear how different promotional styles affect patients' perceptions of their physicians. We hypothesized that self-promoting orthopedic surgeons enjoy a more positive impact on nonphysician patients as compared to non-self-promoting surgeons, as well as a corresponding negative impact on their peer-surgeons. Surgeon websites were selected from the 5 largest population centers in the United States. Subjects with varying degrees of familiarity with orthopedic surgery evaluated Internet profiles of surgeons on a forced choice Likert scale to measure the amount of self-promotion. The naïve subjects judged self-promoting surgeons more favorably than the orthopedic surgeons. In contrast, board-certified orthopedic surgeons viewed self-promoting surgeons more negatively than did their nonphysician counterparts. In summary, the present study revealed that the potential for self-promotion to unduly influence potential patients is real and should be a considerable concern to surgeons, patients, and the profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E227-E232
JournalAmerican journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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