Have you ever read their on-line ratings before you’ve gone to see a new physician? It seems like a logical thing to do — after all, you’re trusting a stranger to make decisions about your health that are quiet likely to be life-affecting. That is, after all, why you are going to see them in the first place.
Yet just how useful or accurate are on-line ratings? This Atlantic Monthly article explores the question, pointing out some obvious dilemmas: reviewers are often influenced by secondary considerations such as easy access to parking or their waiting room experience, and there’s no guarantee that the reviewer was even seen by the physician being reviewed.
To top it all off, there is evidence that satisfied patients are not the best cared for or healthiest. A March 2012 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that patients with the highest satisfaction scores were more likely to be taking prescription medications, visit doctors’ offices, and enter the hospital. They were also likelier to be in poor health and die in the ensuing years. Read more…
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