One little problem with rating doctors

The Raleigh-Durham News & Observer has a story about websites that rate doctors. Sites like Vimo, DrScore, and RateMDs let people post opinions about their physicians. The information is useful as far as it goes, although of course it’s affected by small sample size, bias and the limited ability patients have to judge outcomes.

Beyond that there’s another serious flaw. It’s hard to get an appointment with many physicians. Either their practices or closed or they are booking months out. More useful might be a service that shows people how to get in to see hard-to-see docs. Of course you wouldn’t want that information to become too widespread.

October 2, 2007

4 thoughts on “One little problem with rating doctors”

  1. Doctor rating websites can’t solve the problem of not enough doctors. They can help people more aware of what a great job doctors are doing. Sites will have to get past the problem of getting in enough ratings to have a reasonably representative sample. But once that happens, the public will be surprised at how good doctors are doing. Of the doctors with 20 or more ratings on, the median patient satisfaction score is 9.5 out of 10! I’m a dermatologist and my 9.0 out of 10 puts me in the bottom 25% of those doctors.

  2. I agree , a patient is ill equipped to rate doctors. However it is a burning issue as there seems to be no single accrediting organization for health care which could guide patients better. Perhaps a rating institution like S&P is called for which monitors a doctors performance over time and prescribes a rating .

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