While the media or the general public may not recognize it, doctors tend to have very high patient satisfaction scores. Sure, there is variation among physicians, but isn’t that some doctors get ones and twos and other doctors get 8 and 10s. Nearly all doctors get very high scores from their patients, most getting an average of nine out of 10 or higher.
When you look at the data on DrScore or other reputable patient satisfaction surveys, you see that most patients who rate their visit with their physician give the physician a 10, and the next most likely score is a 9. But doctors’ overall scores are not determined by the number of 9s vs. 10s.
What generally determines a doctor’s overall score is how many patients give the doctor a really low score, a 0, 1 or 2. A doctor who gets a 10 from 9 patients and a 0 from 1 patient will have an overall score of 9.0. If the doctor gets a 10 from 19 patients and a 0 from 1 patient, the doctor’s overall score will be a 9.5. If a doctor manages to get 10s from 49 patients and a 0 from 1 patient, the overall score is 9.8.
The key to having extraordinarily high scores is to not have any very unhappy patients. Some people think there will always be unhappy patients. I’m not so sure. If we doctors do our jobs right, we’ll make sure patients know we care about them, and we won’t have patients leave our offices totally dissatisfied with us.