Patient advocate Trisha Torrey writes, “Tragic Reminders of the Uselessness of Doctor Ratings.”
She cites two examples in the news of physicians – one admitting guilt in performing fake surgeries, one cited for malpractice, poor care, bad subscribing practices – yet both got high marks on Healthgrades, Vitals, and RateMDs ratings services.
So what do we empowered patients learn from all this?
First – that trusting reviews on a doctor ratings website is folly. Clearly – you cannot trust them. They are people’s opinions based on things like how polite the receptionist is – NOT helpful when it comes to the need for real care.
And finally – that just because a doctor is nice, does not mean he or she is competent – and vice versa. If you ask a friend for a referral to a doctor, and that friend uses the word “nice” – dig deeper!
As we move into 2014, and the Affordable Care Act kicks in, finding the right doctor is bound to become more difficult. But that does not mean we can or should take shortcuts. Read the USA Today expose cited above… it will make your toenails curl and will compel you to be very careful.
Doctors ratings are shortcuts – dangerous shortcuts. Just don’t go there.
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