“Reviews are only valid if you know the reviewer? Reviews are only good if you can verify the reviewer?”
I am more than capable of taking in an overall perception of a provider---including any number of elements; like her web site, her interaction (or lack thereof) on boards, her reviews, her direct communication with me, ancillary comments from others about her….. (and, when it comes down to it, most likely a composite of all).
While reviews come into play, I do NOT need to “know” any particular person (or anonymous board handle or reviewer) who actually wrote a review, to make an educated decision as to what my perception of a provider is, or what my comfort level might be when meeting her.
As far as exchange of “real” info you, being married to a provider, know as well or better than anyone, that a request for this kind of info is intended for safety only. And, giving your name does not make you, or anyone else “stupid”.