Here’s an interesting article about a dentist who had patients sign agreements not to put disparaging comments on social network websites.

It’s a clever idea that will likely cause more negative publicity than had the dentist simply tried to resolve the patient’s problem. Now it’s a freedom of speech issue.

This is a hard thing to swallow for any of us, but we have to be settled with the idea that some people will not like us. Certainly we should do everything we can to resolve conflicts and negative publicity, but there is a point where we are best off to let it go and trust that people can sense when someone is being unfairly criticized.

I am not advocating passivity when it comes to negative publicity but instead of trying to squelch negative comments, I think it is always best to promote honest feedback and then respond to it, good or bad. This shows people that you, the dentist, are engaged and take the feelings and ideas of others seriously.