"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

Don’t be Fooled by Pay-to-Play Online Doctor Referral Sites

Independent, unbiased assessment of medical care is more important today than ever. Don’t be fooled! Anyone can draw up a “best of” list, and many organizations do.

Drug companies favor those doctors who are high prescribers of their drugs. To many health insurance companies, a physician’s fees are often a more important factor than quality. Many publications and websites recommend health care providers who pay to get their names mentioned.

Pay-to-Play Directory Listings Common

Pay to Play Doctor directories: Doctors can pay to be in your search results; At A-Fib.com

Doctors can pay to be in your search results

Paying to be listed in a doctor referral service is common among online directories. In addition, doctors can pay extra to be listed first in your database search results.

The article ABC News Investigates Top Doctor Awards: Are They Always Well Deserved?’ includes a warning:

“Don’t be confused by sound-alike websites like ‘TopDocs.com’. ‘TopDocs.com’ does not claim to rank doctors in any way. In fact, regardless of true top doctor status, a spot at TopDocs.com is available to any physician who pays for membership. The cost to buy a spot on the TopDocs.com website ranges anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000, in addition to an annual fee of $1,600.”

Don’t fall prey to hype, advertising, or third parties that have something to gain by recommending a particular healthcare provider.

Consumer Ratings of Doctors May be Just as Flawed

Some people believe that patient ratings are the best source of information on doctors. Unfortunately, that is a misguided assumption. Patients may be able to rate a doctor’s “bedside manner,” but they know little about the complexity of medical care.

In fact, an article in Forbes magazine stated:

“The current system might just kill you. Many doctors, in order to get high ratings (and a higher salary), over-prescribe and over-test, just to “satisfy” patients, who probably aren‘t qualified to judge their care. And there’s a financial cost, as flawed patient survey methods and the decisions they induce, produce billions more in waste.”


Some web sites for A-Fib patients may be biased, often for financial gain. When searching online, always ask yourself:

“Who is paying for this website, and what is their agenda?”

Do not rely entirely on doctor ratings or doctor referral sites. Instead, get personal referrals, refer to our Directory of Doctors and Medical Centers as needed, and then do your own research on each doctor. For guidance, see our article: Finding the Right Doctor for You.

At A-Fib.com, we accept no fee, benefit or value of any kind to be listed in our Directory of Doctors and Medical Centers. A-Fib.com is not affiliated with any practice, medical center or physician.

Caution - when searching A-Fib websites always ask: who is paying for this site and what is their agenda?

A word to the wise…

References for this article

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